Skip to Content

Blackbeard investigates under-reported issues around the world. Check out some of our latest projects below.

Toxic Leather

Bangladesh is exporting more of its leather each year, at the expense of workers and the environment.

For AJ+

Blood & Gold

In the wilds of northern Burma’s Kachin state, a brutal civil war grinds on.

For Al Jazeera English

Join us on Medium for all our latest stories and dispatches from the field. Read below to stay up to date with the latest news on upcoming live events and trainings, new media coverage and more.

In Iraq’s disputed territory, minorities are embracing Kurdish control

Kurdish forces filled the security vacuum when Iraqi army left, much to the relief of this ethnically diverse town, which lies in disputed territory. (Jason Motlagh/For The Washington Post)
TOPZAWA, Iraq — Up until a month ago, Baraq Taqan Ali split his time between two homes and two wives in what was a unified Iraq. Now, when the 55-year-old used-car dealer makes his weekly trip, he traverses the turf of two warring factions, neither of them loyal to Baghdad.

Read more ›

Just Go: Words of Wisdom from Two Globe-Trotting Documentarians

LOS ANGELES — On May 7, we spoke with Raan & Shea Parton of Apolis about getting started in a career in multimedia journalism, our opinions on where media is headed and some of our favorite challenging projects to date. Featured on

Read more ›

Inside Out in Bangladesh

Inside Out in Bangladesh
DHAKA – In collaboration with artist JR’s global Inside Out Project and CounterFoto, an upstart photo agency founded by my friend Saiful Haq Omi, we installed mural-sized pictures of garment workers on the walls and roofs of the capital’s largest slum, Korail, part of a day-long event that also included a community clean up.

Read more ›

The Blackbeard team is available worldwide for media trainings.



General Info

We offer single and multi-day workshops covering the full range of digital reporting, from basic photography and videography, to advanced news documentary production. On request, we can create custom workshops to address specific needs. Our clients include news and non-profit organizations, universities and private companies, spanning Washington DC to northern Burma. Give us a shout if you’d like to learn more.

Upcoming Workshops

DATE: July 21 – 25, 2014.
LOCATION: Noyers, Haute-Normandie, France.
DETAILS: Open to all interested. An intensive workshop covering the basics of international news reporting, multimedia and video journalism.
Find out more details on our Facebook event page, or send us an email on our contact page.

Blackbeard is a media collective devoted to producing films, reportage and live events that challenge perceptions and fuel conversation.


What We Do

Our field experience spans more than 60 countries, with a focus on conflict, social justice and the environment. Join us on the frontlines as we investigate under-reported issues that affect us all.





The Team

Jason Motlagh

Co-Founder / Director

Jason is an award-winning writer, photographer and filmmaker. Formerly TIME Magazine’s correspondent in Afghanistan, he has reported from more than 40 countries and is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, Economist and Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2010, his four-part series on the Mumbai terror attacks won the National Magazine Award for Digital News Reporting. His work on conflicts and human rights issues worldwide has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
Read more

A seasoned video journalist, Jason produces news documentaries and features for the Al Jazeera English and America networks, PBS’ ForeignExchange, His images have featured in leading newspapers, magazines, festivals and global advocacy campaigns. When not on assignment, he enjoys teaching workshops on multimedia journalism.

Jason previously worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He is proud to call Oakland, CA, home.

James Hall

Co-Founder / Director of Photography

James Hall-Irrawaddy Portrait
James is a videographer and photographer who has worked for TIME, Al Jazeera America, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and others. He has worked extensively in Southeast Asia and Central America, producing social documentary projects for non-profit groups such as CARE International, World Vision, USAID, KIVA and Save the Children.

You can view more of his photography at

Susie Taylor

Director of Development

Susie is a videographer and editor with a background in marketing & development. She has reported on a wide range of issues in the developing world, with a focus on post-conflict transitions and women’s rights. She has worked on films for Al Jazeera America and Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, American Interest and Ms. Magazine.

A visual artist and advocate, Susie has spearheaded global street art campaigns for Blackbeard in partnership with JR & The Inside Out Project.

Mark Sugg

Editor / Project Development

Mark is a pioneer in public interest video production in the nation’s capital. He has been in the business of producing television programs, documentary films and online video productions for more than 25 years. In addition to partnerships with clients such as National Geographic, The World Bank Group, Ocean Foundation and The Ford Foundation, Mark has produced the popular PBS series Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria and numerous documentaries.

We are based in Oakland, CA, and we work worldwide.

Get Social

Send Us a Message

For general inquiries or to share story ideas, please use the form below. We travel frequently and will respond as soon as we can.