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EU launches Investigative journalism award

Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with Mediacentre Sarajevo, has launched today the contest for the 2017 EU investigative journalism award in BiH.

“Media contribute to transparency, good governance and human rights, and freedom of expression is one of the key indicators of a country’s readiness to join the EU“ , Khaldoun Sinno, Deputy Head of EU Delegation, said on this occasion. “In the times of the so-called fake news and alternative facts, in the times of various assaults on media freedom wherever we are in the world, and not only in the Western Balkans, I think it is more timely than ever that the European Union launches, not for the first time, the award for investigative journalism.“

Siniša Vukelić, editor of weekly Capital and last year’s winner of the Award, sent a video message inviting his fellow journalists to sharpen their pencils because there are still many untold stories about corruption, crime and nepotism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Investigative journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, like in many underdeveloped countries, is at a very low level. It is exhaustive, difficult and, of course, very costly. Because of our weak advertising market and the decline of purchasing power, newsrooms in Bosnia and Herzegovina often can’t afford to have journalists working on one story for two or three months. That is why the EU investigative journalism award is so important. It is a great incentive for all journalists and shows that good, investigative stories are still appreciated. It is my favourite award because it comes from the EU, to which we all aspire. Investigative journalism is now more important than ever before. Scratching the surface is no longer sufficient, we need to dig deeper“, said Vukelić.

Boro Kontić, director of Mediacentre Sarajevo, the National coordinator of the contest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized that awards will be given to three best stories, as well as to the best young investigative journalist.
Contest is open from March 10 until March 31, 2017.

Investigative stories reporting on societal issues related to abuse of power and violation of fundamental rights, corruption and organized crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina, published by broadcast, print or online media in 2016 are eligible. The 2017 award fun for Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to 10,000 euro. Contest call with entry forms and detailed instructions is available at www.media.ba.

The EU award for investigative journalism aims at promoting outstanding achievements of investigative journalists and improving the visibility of quality journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The total award fund for all seven countries is 210,000 euro. The award in Bosnia and Herzegovina is coordinated by Mediacentre Sarajevo, while the regional partnership is headed by Peace Institute in Ljubljana.