About us

Direkt36 is a non-profit investigative journalism center in Hungary with the mission to expose wrongdoings and abuse of power through fair but tough reporting, a kind of journalism that is vital for any democracy.

We provide the Hungarian and international audience with in-depth accountability reporting that most of the Hungarian media outlets do not have the resources to pursue. Direkt36 is not part of the competition of news organizations covering daily events, which allows us to focus our resources exclusively on conducting systematic investigations.

We actively participate in the work of a growing international investigative journalism community and we publish all of our stories – which often have international implications – also in English.


Szabolcs Panyi – journalist

Source: Direkt36
Szabolcs graduated from Eötvös Loránd University where he studied Hungarian language and literature. Between 2013 and 2018, he was an editor and political reporter at Index.hu. Meanwhile, he helped launch VSquare.org, a cross-border investigative journalism initiative in the Visegrád region. At Arizona State University, he studied investigative journalism on a Fulbright Fellowship in 2017-2018. In the fall of 2018, he joined Direkt36, where he mainly works on stories related to national security and foreign policy. He received the Quality Journalism Award and the Soma Award three times each, most recently for his article on the history of Hungarian-German relations. He was shortlisted for the European Press Prize in 2018. Szabolcs collects tropical houseplants.

András Pethő – founder, editor

Source: Direkt36 - Mudra László
Andras is a co-founder and editor of Direkt36. Previously, he was a senior editor for leading Hungarian news site Origo before it had been transformed into the government’s propaganda outlet. He also worked for the BBC World Service in London and was a reporter at the investigative unit of The Washington Post. He has contributed to several international reporting projects, including The Panama Papers. He twice won the Soma Prize, the prestigious annual award dedicated to investigative journalism in Hungary. He was a World Press Institute fellow in 2008, a Humphrey fellow at the University of Maryland in 2012/13, and a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2019/20. Andras has taught journalism courses at Hungarian universities.

Gergő Sáling – founder, editor

Source: Direkt36 - Mudra László
One of the founders of Direkt36. He spent 12 years at Origo, a major news portal in Hungary. He started as a reporter and rose to the position of editor-in-chief. At Direkt36, he works as an editor, organizational development and as director.

András Szabó – journalist

Source: Direkt36
András worked eight years as a journalist at Origo, a then prestigious online news site, but also spent several years at Index and vs.hu news outlets. At Direkt36 he covers Russian-Hungarian relations, activities of business circles close to Fidesz, and political decision making processes of the Orbán government. In 2011 he received the Gőbölyös Soma Award, an annual award dedicated to investigative journalism in Hungary, and in 2010 he won the Quality Journalism Award, both for a series of articles that focused on a corruption case connected to the former Socialist-led government.

Dániel Szőke – journalist

Graduated from Eötvös Loránd University at 2013 as a librarian scientist. As a freelancer he worked with 444.hu news-site for several years, and in 2020 he attended at the Transparency International’s mentor program for investigative journalists. In January of 2021 he started to work as an intern, and since September of 2021 he is a full-time journalist of Direkt36.

Zsuzsanna Wirth – journalist

Source: Direkt36
Zsuzsanna Wirth began her journalistic career at the news desk of Origo while still studying at Eötvös Loránt University. She won the Award for Quality Journalism twice and in 2011 she received a special award from the Gőbölyös József “Soma” Foundation for uncovering the operations of an England-based Hungarian human trafficking network. After leaving Origo, she published articles, among others, in Forbes and Marie Claire, and then returned to journalism from maternity leave to work with Direkt36.

Advisory Board

Márton Galambos

Source: Direkt36
Márton is one of the most experienced business journalists in Hungary. He is the founding editor-in- chief of Forbes magazine’s local edition, which, thanks to its unique style and choice of topics, has quickly become one of the most successful publications in Hungary. Previously, he had worked as a business editor at news portal Origo, as a reporter at Figyelő, a prestigious business weekly, and had been on the staff of Kreatív, a magazine covering the media industry. He spent a year at the Freie Universität Berlin with the European Journalism-Fellowships program.

Ellen Hume

Source: Direkt36
Ellen is a veteran journalist and media analyst, with such prominent assignments as a White House and political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and a national reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Later she worked as the Research Director at the Center for Future Civic Media in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also served as executive director and senior fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. Most recently, she has been the Annenberg Fellow in Civic Media at CEU’s Center for Media, Data and Society in Budapest.

Sándor Orbán

Source: Direkt36
Sándor is a former international news editor and reporter with substantial experience in implementing media development projects. From 1996 to 2005, he served as director of the Center for Independent Journalism, a stronghold in journalism training in Hungary. Later, he coordinated the training, research and advocacy activities of the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media, an association of non-for- profit media development centers from twelve countries and implemented numerous regional projects in Eastern and Central Europe. His main fields of expertise include media freedom and pluralism, reporting diversity, and journalism ethics.

Balázs Weyer – founder

Source: Direkt36 - Mudra László
Balázs was the founder and longest-serving editor-in-chief of Origo. He led the team that made Origo the largest news-portal in Hungary. He was also a personal guarantee for the famously high professional and ethical standards at the news-portal. Since leaving Origo in 2011 he has been teaching at various universities and training programs in Hungary and abroad. He is also the chairman of the Editor-in-chiefs’ Forum, an organization aiming to improve the ethical standards in journalism in Hungary.


Financial reports

• Deeds of Association – download
• List of Direkt36 Non-profit Llc’s decisions – download

Direkt36 report 2021

• Financial statement and balance sheet 2021 – download
• Notes to the financial statement 2021 – download
• Public benefit statement 2021 – download

Previous years 

Our supporters

Since Direkt36 was founded in 2015, more than 2,700 private donors have supported our work on more than 11,000 occasions. We cover a significant part of our operating costs with funds received from our private donors and fees paid by our media partners that publish our stories.
For more details click here.

Our supporters who gave their consent to publish their name:

Anne Avis
Jimena Abad
Tamás Bódi
Adrienne Erdővégi
Sándor Joób
Ildikó Naetar-Bakcsi
Tibor Sipos
István Varga

(Are you a supporter and would like to see your name here? Send an e-mail to info@direkt36.hu.)


  • Internews
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Real Reporting Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund



  • Global Investigative Journalism Network