Fiona Macleod is a seasoned investigative environmental journalist, who heads Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism.

She is pioneering the use of new media tools to expose eco-offences in southern Africa, and to track offenders around the world. 

Macleod won the prestigious SAB EnviroMedia Written Media Award in 2018 for collaborative multimedia journalism projects and the Print and Online Award in October 2014 for the Oxpeckers Fellowship project. Under her leadership, Oxpeckers was 2019 Merit Award winner in the Asian Environmental Journalism Awards, 2017 SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year, CNN Multichoice African Environment Journalist of the Year in 2016, and 2016 Journalist of the Year at the China Environmental Press Awards.

Prior to founding Oxpeckers, Macleod worked as an award-winning journalist and editor at a range of the region’s top media. She served as environment editor at the ​Mail & Guardian newspaper for 10 years and was awarded the coveted Nick Steele Award recognising her contributions to environmental conservation through her pioneering reportage.

Oxpeckers is Africa's first journalistic investigation unit focusing on environmental issues by combining traditional investigative reporting techniques with data analysis and geo-mapping tools.


Fiona Macleod

Basic information

Fiona Macleod
Investigative environmental journalist
Environment, conservation, data
South Africa

Supported projects

Shades of Green Hydrogen

  • Environment

WINDHOEK - This investigation shows that Namibia will be soon becoming a major green hydrogen supplier to Europe, with about $37 million of the EU commission's funding — but the potential damage to biodiversity is high. Also the projects are being led by executives with a questionable track record.

Tracking South Africa’s mining millions

  • Environment
  • Industry

PRETORIA - Mining companies publicly listed in the United Kingdom must disclose the payments they make to governments, including taxes, royalties, and license fees. But this is not always the case in South Africa. A data investigation by a team of journalists and activists highlighted how these large royalty payment amounts are reported, while miners have no way of knowing where billions of dollars paid went.

Mentor for

Online illegal wildlife trade

  • Corruption
  • Data Journalism
  • Innovation
  • Organised crime
  • Trafficking

CAPE TOWN - Although cyberspace is not the main platform for the illegal wildlife trade, it provides an anonymous and versatile marketplace in which to buy and sell. It is safe to say that the internet plays a role at some point in an increasing number of wildlife trafficking incidents.