Catalin Tolontan at ICEEfest about “How journalism can change a (health) system”

June 15, 2016

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About 3350 participants attended ICEEfest 2016.

Among the +120 speakers and international trainers invited to the festival, Catalin Tolontan was invited to a special session within ICEEhealth, a satellite event this year.

From Colectiv to Hexi Pharma

Editor in Chief at Gazeta Sporturilor, Catalin and his team published in 2016 the biggest journalistic investigation of the past 25 years in Romania.

  • It all started with the drama from the Colectiv club (October 30th, 2015)
  • 64 people lost their lives in this tragedy, 27 of them right then and there
  • Although surviving fire, some of them acquired deadly infections while in Romanian hospitals
  • The investigation led to Hexi Pharma, a company which produced dilluted disinfectants for most hospitals in Romania for over 10 years
  • The Health Minister resigned and Dan Condrea/ Hexi Pharma’s administrator dies in a car accident, but the investigation is not over yet

Quality journalism needs time

Gazeta Sporturilor published the first articles from this investigation 5 months after the fire in Colectiv.

All this time, Catalin Tolontan and his team formed by Mirela Neag and Razvan Lutac gathered vital information on the subject.

That wasn’t easy, given that GSP is a sport newspaper: “The people who have supported us were the football fans. Without them we couldn’t go further because the newspaper circulation hasn’t increased in this period”, says Catalin Tolontan.

“Razvan is now on Stade de France, in Paris, and he’ll write on France vs Romania match because, besides the investigation, this is what keeps us going as a newspaper”, explained Tolontan.

The implications of a journalistic investigation

Catalin Tolontan said, although he is in the journalistic investigation business for more than 20 years, this is the first time he feared for his life.

  • The Romanian Intelligence Service is not very happy with our investigation
  • I didn’t received direct threats but there were some suggestions
  • It took us 4-5 months to be sure that our authorities aren’t in control
  • Nobody knows anything about our sources. About the people that started everything
  • I trust that citizens will react. This investigation is for them

You can watch Catalin’s session below, with Lorena Macnaughtan and Cosmin Stan:

 

 

One of the biggest internet & technology related festivals in Central and Eastern Europe, ICEEfestInteractive Central and Eastern Europe Festival – was organised in Bucharest, on June 9th and 10th.

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