2016 EU investigative journalism awards

Johannes Hahn

BRUSSELS – The best journalists in investigative reporting in the Western Balkans and Turkey have received the 2016 EU awards.

“The work of independent media is crucial for good governance and a properly functioning democracy. The EU awards for investigative journalism reflect the priority we give to freedom of expression and media in the enlargement process” said EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. ”I am happy to see this second edition of the awards has drawn a good number of quality entries. I wish to congratulate all the winners and thank the independent juries for their professional work”, he added.

Investigative stories published in 2015 and reporting on societal issues related to abuse of power and fundamental rights, corruption and organised crime that otherwise would not have been brought to the public’s attention have been rewarded in each country. This year the contest included a new category of the award – for “best investigative story by young journalist”.

The evaluation of the nominated investigative stories was done by independent juries in each country. Individual prizes ranged from 3,000- 5,000€. This year’s is the second EU award for investigative journalism, with a third edition foreseen for 2017.

Winners:

Kosovo, Pristina, 6 May 2016

First prize: Besnik Krasniqi and Ganimet Klaiqi, for investigative story “Illegal ‘diplomatic’ university”, published in Koha Ditore on 10-11 February 2015.

Second prize: Parim Olluri, for investigative story “The friend of Lushtaku benefits from Vala”, published in Jeta në Kosovë on 5 October 2015.

Young journalist prize: Leonida Molliqaj and Besnik Boletini, for investigative story “Eating their daily bread”, published at the Preportr, web site of the Kosovo Centre for Investigative Journalism, on 26 November 2015.

Montenegro, Podgorica, 11 May 2016

First prize: Mirko Bošković, for the series of investigative stories (serial) “The Promised Land” broadcasted at TVCG (national television in Montenegro) in March 2015.

Second prize: Milena Perović Korać for the investigative stories “As If It Was a War” and “The Police Covering up the Torture at the Night of Protests”, published in weekly Monitor in November 2015.

Young investigative journalist prize: Ana Komatina and Vladimir Otasević, journalists of Center for Investigative Journalism Montenegro, for their investigative stories “Dossier of Vei Seng Pua”, published in the daily Vijesti and at the Vijesti web portal in February and March 2015.

Albania, Tirana, 12 May 2016

First prize: Leonard Bakillari, for investigative story “How millionaire judges escape justice”, published on 17 April 2015 at the web portal Reporter.al and at Balkan Insight web site.

Second prize: Ornela Liperi, for investigative story “Albanian businesses immersed in debt”, published on 29 July 2015 at the Monitor magazine.

Young investigative journalist prize: Habjon Hasani, for the story “Bankers, a golden concession in the Banana Republic”, published on 12 February 2015 at Te Paekspozuarit program, Ora News TV.

Serbia, Belgrade, 17 May 2016

First prize: Aleksandar Đorđević for the story  “Ispumpavanje kopa i budžeta” (Draining the mine and budget), published in weekly Vreme on 8 January 2015.

Second prize: Darko Šper, for the series of investigative stories “O suđenju zabranjene neonacističke organizacije Nacionalni stroj” (On the trial against the prohibited neonacistic organisation Nacionalni stroj), published on the website Autonomija in the period March-September 2015.

Third prize:* Ivan Angelovski, Petrit Čolaku, Krešnik Gaši and Jelena Ćosić, for their investigative story “Veselinoviću i partnerima milioni bez tendera” (Veselinović and partners got millions without a tender), published on the web site Balkan Insight on 8 June 2015.

Young investigative journalist prize: Snežana Đurić and Novak Grujić for the series of articles “Opštinski radar” (Municipal Radar), published on the web site Pištaljka.rs in the period January-June 2015.

*Note: In Serbia, it was possible to give this year 3 main prizes and 1 prize for young journalist because in 2015 only one prize was delivered due to such decision of the jury. The funds were spared and added to this year annual fund for the award.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 24 May 2016

First prize: Siniša Vukelić for series of investigative stories “Pljačka Balkan Investment Banke – Banka Srpske” (Robbery of the Balkan Investment Bank – The Bank of Srpska), published on the web portal Capital.ba between August and December 2015.

Second prize: Aladin Abdagić, for investigative story “Čović’s Rich Father-in-law”, published by Center for Investigative Reporting on 13 August 2015.

Young investigative journalist prize: Stefan Mačkić, for investigative story “The Government of Republika Srpska gave a concession to company in the center of corruption scandals” published by web portal Etrafika.net on 9 July 2015.

Turkey, Istanbul, 26 May 2016

First prize: Hilal Köse for the story about child deaths in prison, “Boyle Vahset Gorülmedi” published in daily Cumhuriyet on 27 February 2015 and 10 October 2015.

Second prize: Arda Akın for the story about the Iranian gold trade “89 Kere Maşallah”, published in daily Hürriyet on 11, 16 and 18 July 2015.

Young investigative journalist prize (two stories got exactly the same scores and share the prize): Burcu Karakaş for the story “Şüpheli Kadın Ölümleri – Van’da Neler Oluyor”, published in daily Milliyet on 4-6 May 2015. The story is about extensive women suicides in Van, a city in South East Turkey;  and

Canan Coşkun for the story “Skandal Kayıt”, published in Cumhuriyet on 24 October 2015. The story is about the corruption in the judicial system.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, 27 May 2016

First prize: Boris Georgievski, for the investigative story “Telecom Dossier” (Досие телеком), published as a series of six articles at Prizma/BIRN web site in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia between 28 September and 21 November 2015.

Second prize: Ana Petruseva, Tamara Causidis, Meri Jordanovska, Vlado Apostolov, Riste Zmejkoski and Zoran Ricliev (a group of journalists of BIRN Macedonia), for investigative story “Skopje 2014 uncovered” (Скопје 2014 под лупа) published at Prizma/BIRN web site in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 26 July 2015.

Young investigative journalist prize: Biljana Nikolovska, for investigative story “From unemployed to prisoners: How the system convicted, and then amnestied 15.000 health insurance users” (Од невработени до затвореници: како системот осуди, па амнестираше 15 илјади здравствени осигуреници), broadcasted by TV Telma as a series of six episodes between 13 March and 4 June 2015.

More info: http://mediaobservatory.net/