The Battleground is a non-profit news startup to counter false narratives and propaganda that are eroding trust in politics and the media. We focus on Europe and its influences on, and from, the wider world.


Whether it is migration, climate change, populism or globalisation, we look behind the news headlines and provide perspective – to give clarity and meaning where there is confusion and conflict. Ultimately it is about defending democracy.

Our Mission
  • Fight false narratives
  • Defend democracy
  • Combat racism
  • Expose extremism
  • Promote diversity
  • Champion ethical journalism
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Leadership Team

Natalie Sarkic-Todd is an international Brit with a unique background in diplomacy, policy and media gained in London, New York, Russia, the Balkans and Brussels, where she managed a European media network. The Battleground grew out of her frustration with populist narratives in the UK, Europe and the US, and the conviction that media and politicians must do more to counter them. As publisher, she will ensure stories present the geopolitical context, look behind the headlines and arm readers with critical perspectives on the news and politics of our times.

Joel Schalit is a rare media publisher and editor who specialises in Europe, the US and the Middle East, with an added passion for culture and music. His eclectic Israeli and European heritage, combined with journalism and philosophy studies in North America, mean that he has one of the broadest yet razor-sharp minds in the business. As commissioning editor, Joel will source a variety of content from journalists in Europe and around the world and create new audio-visual products to bring The Battleground to life.

Dominique Ostyn brings almost two decades of experience in European media relations and communication strategy to The Battleground. As head of communication, Dominique oversees its branding, communications and marketing activities. His keen business eye and openness to collaboration, innovation and testing new technologies keep it at the forefront of its sector. Dominique is also the director of communication of the Press Club Brussels-Europe and involved in multiple initiatives that aim to enable Europe’s journalists and media.

Mana Livardjani is a multicultural European who grew up speaking French, Spanish, English and Farsi in Strasbourg. Mana has been president of Europe’s first multilingual online media magazine for citizen journalists, worked in the European Parliament and ran the office of the Union of European Federalists. Mana’s online media, democracy promotion and NGO background makes her the ideal advisor on effective audience engagement for a news media start-up like The Battleground.

Raz Mesinai is a prolific record producer, multi-instrumentalist, film composer, sound designer, filmmaker, writer, educator and activist for artists rights from New York City. Since the late 1980s, Mesinai has produced hundreds of albums under many monikers including Sub Dub, Badawi, The Bedouin, Psy Co., and under his own name and has released records on such notable labels as Asphodel and ROIR Tzadik. As a film composer and score consultant, Mesinai has worked with Darren Aronofsky, Ridley Scott, Jonathan Demme and Yaron Zilberman. In 2015, Raz Mesinai founded the Underground Producers Alliance, the premier artist development agency in NYC.

Jennifer Crakow is a veteran user experience design director. who has recently joined The Battleground to lead its forthcoming redesign. The former acting head of UxD for Torino’s Deltatre, and Creative Director of the BBC’s London 2012 digital ecosystem, Jennifer co-founded Stuttgart design studio ampify and served as Director of User Experience for Method, in London. Previous clients included Samsung, Chares Schwab and Yahoo. Jennifer holds a joint MA from the Università di Torino/Politecnico di Torino and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

+ Over 40 contributors from all over the world

The Battleground relies on its teams’ long history of working in European and international news markets. Drawing equally on European, North American and Middle Eastern correspondents, The Battleground is endowed with a global community of over 40 journalists at its disposal.

Ranging from investigative reporters and photographers to opinion editorialists and television correspondents, will be their outlet to innovate and set news standards for mainstream news media.

As we embark on our next phase of development, we are seeking feedback on our content, coverage, products and formats, as well as audiences’ interests and preferences for engagement.

We would be grateful if you would take a few moments to share your thoughts and observations by completing this short survey.