Aurora Velaj, Osman Stafa, Anila Hoxha and Artan Rama were selected from many colleagues as this year’s winners for their stories published in 2022 exposing wrongdoings related to discrimination, healthcare and spendings of public funds.
The jury consisted of Jeton Mehmeti, media professional, consultant, researcher, Chairman of the Independent Media Commission and lecturer at the University of Prishtina; Ornela Liperi, editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, and Valbona Sulçe, journalist and media researcher with a background in diversity, gender equality, media literacy, and ethical journalism, championing the cause of Albanian women in audiovisual.
The first prize went to Velaj for her documentary Po na shujn!. This story reveals the silent ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Serbia’s Presheva Valley through postal address removal, shedding light on discrimination against the country’s ethnic Albanian population.
The second prize went to Stafa for his story Mungesa e ilaçeve në QSUNT rrezikon jetën e fëmijëve, që vuajnë nga tumori, which spotlighted the challenges of supplying essential drugs to children with cancer in Albania, driving change in healthcare.
The third prize was given to the stories produced by Anila Hoxha’s “Sekret shtetëror”, which explores the human and financial costs of helicopter contracts in Albania, and Artan Rama’s “Kush e kontrollon Butrintin/Who manages Butrint?”, which exposes management and transparency issues at Albania’s significant heritage site, urging preservation and accountability.
The awards were given by the Deputy Head of the European Delegation in Albania, Jean-Baptiste Le Bras, who emphasized the pivotal role of investigative journalism in democracy, governance, and accountability.
Blerjana Bino from Thomson Media introduced the project and the importance of the EU award for supporting investigative journalism in the Western Balkans and Türkiye. Ornela Liperi, representing the jury, provided a detailed explanation of the award selection process and announced the recipients of each awarded position.
More information can be found here.
The EU Award for Investigative Journalism 2023 is part of the project “Strengthening Quality Journalism in Western Balkans and Türkiye II”. This aims to recognise and promote outstanding achievements in investigative journalism as well as improve the visibility of quality journalism in the Western Balkans and Türkiye.
The project is funded by the European Union and it is implemented by a consortium composed of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN Hub, Central European University (CEU) – Hungary, the Association of Journalists (AJ) – Türkiye, Thomson Media (TM) – Germany, University Goce Delcev Stip (UGD) – North Macedonia, The Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) – North Macedonia, Media Association of South-East Europe (MASE) – Montenegro, and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo (BIRN Kosovo).