The Open Media Challenge (OMC) is a two-day event, laying the groundwork for improving data journalism in Eastern Europe. The aim is to write code for free software which will solve real-world media problems around data aggregation and visualization. It will be a collaborative effort focused on Eastern European information collection and dissemination, and will be conducted in English language.

Coders, Designers, Journalists and Activists who want to team up and play with data on a specific issue, can submit their proposal using our submit form. The call for proposal starts today and is open until 14th of July.

The main event will take place in Mid September in Bucharest – more details coming soon. It’s going to include an Open Hackday, as well as Code Review, International e-Jury and Celebration day. Check out next steps, proposal list, and other event-related news, on the FAQ page.

The event is funded by Knight-Mozilla Open News, and was initiated by the Sponge Media Innovation Lab for Eastern Europe. The organizers are CRJI,, Ceata, ROSEdu and ApTI.

Hope to see you there!

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Stefan Candea is a freelance journalist and co-founder of the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism in Bucharest, Romania.

As an investigative journalist for the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper in Bucharest he wrote about the connections between international organized crime networks and high-ranking politicians and public servants. One article showed the links between La Cosa Nostra and associates of the Romanian president and the Foreign Secret Service director. Other investigations by Candea include the international arms trade, illegal international adoptions, an investigation of the separatist region of Trans-Dniester and the diamond business in Romania.

Candea is a co-founder of the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, and worked for the first investigative TV show in Romania, Reporteri Incognito. Candea has worked for Deutsche Welle, in print, radio, TV and online, and he did freelance research and production work for several foreign media outlets, including the BBC, Channel 4, ITN, ZDF and Canal Plus. Since March 2001, he has been a correspondent for Reporters sans Frontieres in Romania.

Candea is a member of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists and has won several awards including the IRE Tom Renner Award and the Overseas Press Club of America Award for online journalism.

He teaches investigative journalism at Bucharest University and was the 2011 Carroll Binder Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.