Kosovo: Best 2015 stories received EU Award for Investigative Journalism

investigative journalism

On May 6, 2016, in Pristina, Press Council of Kosovo gave three prizes for the EU Award for Investigative Journalism. This is the second year of EU Award for Investigative Journalism in WBT. The first prize this year was given to Besnik Krasniqi and Ganimet Klaiqi, journalists of daily newspaper Koha Ditore, for the investigative story “Illegal ‘diplomatic’ university”.

Jury’s justification: For years an institution was supported, protected and promoted by state while giving titles to people who were close to officials, who were receiving education with public scholarships and later became representatives of Kosovo in different important diplomatic centers. But everything was illegal! The jury admires the multidisciplinary collection of data (interviews, documents, statistics), as well as the international aspect of the investigation. Also, the jury underlines the impact of the story, which resulted in concrete actions of the authorities, as well as the fact that the story was written in various sequences. The prize was handed by Samuel Žbogar, Head of EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative.

Anamari Repic, deputy chairperson of Board of Press Council of Kosovo handed the second award to Parim Olluri for his investigative story “The friend of Lushtaku benefits from Vala”, published in Jeta në Kosovë. The protagonists and their affiliates were showing off with an event that made the capital city look attractive, but the findings of the investigation showed that this manifestation involved an abuse of money and the public office. The jury also praises the use of data in historical manner: the story becomes more reliable and it captivates the reader’s attention as the story unfolds.

The award for the Best story by young journalist was given to the journalists who have just started to work as investigative journalists – Leonida Molliqaj and Besnik Boletini, for their story “Eating their daily bread”, published at the Kosovo Centre for Investigative Journalism, Preportr. The story is important because it addresses the life threats faced by some of the most unprotected members of society while trying to survive the poverty. Protagonists from different municipalities – including mothers and children – are interviewed throughout the day while trying to sell their work. The story is enriched by other interviews, aiming to provide detailed analysis and data of international trade. The jury also praised the diverse presentation of the story, using video-reporting, short story on the website and detailed and well-drafted story in printed version. The award was handed by Qerim Ondozi, national coordinator of the project.

This year, the jury members were Imer Mushkolaj, analyst/Chairman of Board of Press Council of Kosovo, Anamari Repic, journalist/ deputy director of Radio Television of Kosovo, Besa Luci, journalists/ Editor in chief of Kosovo 2.0, and Artan Mustafa, journalist/former editor in chief of Newspaper Jeta në Kosovë.

The ceremony of EU Award for Investigative Journalism for 2015 was held in a welcoming environment of the National Library of Kosovo, gathering around 40 guests, mainly local journalists and representative of cultural life in Pristina.

Photo is provided by the EU office in Pristina.

The article was originally published by South East European Media Observatory

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* - References to Kosovo are without prejudice to positions on status. They are in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the opinion by the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo declaration of independence.