International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Journalist Profile

Alexenia Dimitrova

Alexenia Dimitrova, Bulgaria, works at the second largest daily in Bulgaria, 24 Chasa (“24 Hours”). She has more than 27 years’ experience in journalism, and has published thousands of articles in Bulgaria, USA, Russia, Croatia and Britain. She has also written four books - The Iron Fist (2005), The War of the Spies (2005), The King’s Secret Files (2009), and Murder Bureau (2010). 

Alexenia’s primary expertise is in large cross-border global investigations. She has skills in using online data bases, web based public records, electronic reading rooms, and platforms for sharing information. Additionally she is familiar with Freedom of Information laws internationally around the world. 

She has been a member of research teams for various multinational media projects and international media outlets like the Financial Times, NBC (USA), SBS (Australia), Artemis International and Serendipity Productions (Australia), Endemol (Germany), The Bureau for Investigative Journalism (UK), Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Global Integrity (USA), ICIJ, and more. 

In 2002 she started a large project to find and reunite families from all over the world separated in tragic circumstances from their Bulgarian families. In these investigations she largely used countries’ local databases and records, or contacted local institutions. She has so far assisted more than 230 successful reunions worldwide.

Alexenia is an experienced teacher, certified by the South East European Network for Professionalisation of the Media (SEENPM). She has conducted training sessions around the world and spoken at conferences for more than 10 years. She is also adjunct professor at Sofia University. In 2009 she co-authored the Manual for Investigative reporting – practical tips for a good investigation, published by Bulgarian Investigative Journalism Centre. 

Between 2005 and 2009 she was members of the Bulgarian Press Complaint Commission.

In November 2004 she received the most prestigious award for investigative journalism in Bulgaria (Chernorizets Hrabar). In 2006 she received the Golden Key Award – for using FOIAs both in Bulgaria and the USA. In 2012 Alexenia was part of the ICIJ team that won the Sidney Hillman Award. 

Dimitrova has two university degrees from Sofia University and postgraduate fellowships in the World Press Institute – St. Paul, Minnesota, in the University of Missouri, and the University of Minneapolis (USA), Reuters (UK), Archus School of Journalism (Denmark), and the European Center for Journalism (Maastricht). She is also a member of a number of professional centers, groups, and institutions.

She speaks Bulgarian, English and Russian, and reads and understands French.

Read a Q&A with Dimitrova in ICIJ's Secrets of the Masters series.

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