MACEDONIA: Best 2015 stories received EU Award for Investigative Journalism

Journalist Boris Georgievski won the first prize at this year’s “EU Award for Investigative Journalism” contest, for the series of articles titled “Dossier Telecom”, published on the web-portal “Prizma”. The story reveals the developments related to the “Telecom” corruption affair and the numerous controversies that are associated with the company’s operations and the relations with the Macedonian political leadership since 2001.

The second prize is awarded to the team of BIRN Macedonia, Ana Petruseva, Tamara Causidis, Meri Jordanovska, Vlado Apostolov, Riste Zmejkoski and Zoran Ricliev, for the investigative story titled “Skopje 2014 Uncovered”, published on the website “Prizma”. The series of articles and the online database reveal the amount of government money that has been spent by now for the construction of the facilities from the “Skopje 2014” project, as well as a series of corruptive relationships between the entities that stand behind the project.

The award for the best investigative story by a young journalist, which was awarded the first time this year, went to Biljana Nikolovska for the series of TV stories on the topic “From unemployed to prisoners: how the system convicted and then amnestied 15,000 health insurance beneficiaries”, aired on TV Telma. The story reveals that at the request of the Health Insurance Fund, the prosecution offices across the country initiated proceedings against unemployed persons for the crime “forgery of a document”.

In the competition of 32 authors with 29 stories published in print, electronic and Internet media, the winning stories were rated the highest by a jury comprised of Ljupco Popovski, chair of the jury, Snezana Lupevska Sozen, Lulzim Haziri, Goran Trpenoski and Mirce Adamcevski. Christian Daniellson, Director general of the DG NEAR attended the ceremony and handed the prizes to the three awardees.

In view of the fact that among the shortlisted stories several were of a high quality, as well as since they addressed extremely important topics of public interest and caused a stir in the public or changed a given situation, the jury decided to award the maximum number, i.e. three awards. The winning story is awarded EUR 4,000, while the awards for the second place and for best investigative story by a young journalist amount to EUR 3,000 each.

The jury noted the need for new projects and initiatives for supporting the investigative journalism, for stimulating of the young journalists to spend much more time for research and for greater cooperation between the mainstream media and the investigative centres and organizations.

You can download the Report of the jury here.

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The regional network of organizations administering the awards is led by the Peace Institute from Ljubljana, a SEENPM member. 

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Photo: Macedonian Institute for Media

The article was originally published by the South East European Media Observatory.

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