1st Prize – 4,000 EUR
Aleksandar Dimitrievski for his investigations of the subsidies for crop and livestock production, published at the Internet page “Prizma”.
Through an online database and a series of articles, this research reveals comprehensive and systematized data on the allocation of about 3% of the state budget on the basis of subsidies for crop and livestock production. The articles and the data also reveal the manners in which subsidies were allocated, analyze potential links among part of the beneficiaries of subsidies, the issue of questionable ownership of certain companies receiving subsidies and so on.
The jury considers that the author courageously, tirelessly and devotedly processed an exceptionally important topic of public interest, in circumstances when the program for agricultural subsidies absorbs a huge amount of budget resources, while farmers increasingly express anger and remarks on the program implementation. This research brings to light significant facts, through a series of methods to study the problem and a proficient narrative. The journalist demonstrated an exceptional journalistic and research effort through a lengthy process of collecting, processing and systematizing of numerous data provided by different institutions. The award for this story is recognition of the excellent mix of investigative journalism and demonstrated commitment to contribute to the fight against corruption in the society. The story is a good reminder of the essential features of investigative journalism: throwing light on injustice, that otherwise would not be sufficiently known to the public, it analyzes the topic in a systematic and comprehensive manner, while applying highest standards of journalism in the quest for the truth.
2nd Prize – 3,000 EUR
Zoran Jovanoski for the story "Ashes of death", published in the show "360 degrees" on "Alsat - M" television.
The story focuses on an environmental catastrophe which is associated with the phenomenon of dramatically increased mortality rate among citizens in the region of Kicevo, due to the operation of the thermal power plant Oslomej and the improper treatment of the ashes from coal combustion. The journalist managed to provide relevant information for the growing numbers of ill people suffering from malignant and respiratory diseases in the region and he also pointed out to the great danger looming the local population from the artificially created "mountain" of millions of tons of radioactive ash.
The jury concluded that the story is an exceptionally relevant research of public interest and the journalist offers quality and authentic information from various sources, comparing the way this problem is addressed with examples from other countries while indicating its potential solutions.
In the opinion of the jury, this topic implies the issue of similar problems faced by many regions in the country due to dilapidated facilities for electricity production, exploitation of minerals, plants for solid fuels treatment, etc. Thus the analysis of the problem, through the prism of its impact and consequences on the population and the surrounding, additionally raises the awareness about the need for its broader elaboration, indicating the responsibility of the competent institutions and bodies in its resolving.
Best investigative story of a young journalist -3,000 EUR
Slavica Filipovska for her story "Bulgarian passport for a 'clean' Macedonia', published in the show "360 degrees"on "Alsat - M" Television.
The story, in an authentic and original way for the general public, reveals how, in fact, citizens in an effort to rapidly enter countries - members of the European Union find their way through the procedure to get a passport for Bulgarian citizenship.
The jury concluded that it is a theme that persists for years, but the way the subject is treated and presented is exceptionally original and the journalist does this with a high level of professional integrity, consistency and commitment to the topic. By the narrative used and the selection of segments of individual stories, the journalist explores the trend of mass applying for passports. She connects this problem with important social phenomena, such as unemployment and mass emigration of young people, questions that deserve further thorough research and a motivation for their elaboration. In fact, she describes the story of the "little" man who has no choice but flee from the lack of prospects in the country.
EU Award Jury Composition
Marina Tuneva, Executive Director of the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia
Arta Tahiri, Editor in Alsat – M TV
Lirim Dulovi, Owner of the “Koha” daily
Boris Georgievski, journalist in the Macedonian news desk of Deutsche Welle
Fatmir Aliu, Editor – in – Chief of TV 21
At the competition for the “2016 EU Award for Investigative Journalism” 26 authors took part with 32 applications/stories published in print, electronic and Internet media.
According to the methodology and the criteria for selection of the best investigative stories, which apply to all countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey, part of the jury members were excluded from voting on stories that were broadcast/published in the media where they work as journalists/editors. The stories were evaluated in relation to their relevance, quality, originality, dedication and professional integrity of journalists and by the impact that they had on the public opinion.