The CEI and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), in special partnership with the Media Program South East Europe of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), have announced the winners of the “CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2018”: Stevan Dojčinović  and Dragana Pećo (Serbia) in the section “Professional Journalists” and Nino Bilajac (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the section “Young Professional Journalists”.

Stevan Dojčinović and Dragana Pećo work for the investigative portal KRIK and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). They will receive this award for their contribution to the investigative journalism in Serbia and for the impact of their courageous stories on the society in a challenging environment. They have been working together on the Paradise Papers files and for this effort, they have received high recognition both at national and international level. They often work under dangerous and unsafe conditions and are both threatened and under pressure.

Nino Bilajac works for the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN). He has been doing complex investigative stories, covering financial misuse in public procurement and public funds. This award is meant to acknowledge his courageous reporting and innovative ways of telling complex stories. Along with videos, photos and graphics, he has introduced a new form of investigative reporting - a comic that combines the photos of the story with quotes from interviews.

During his work, he faces many challenges including harassment and death threats.

Stevan Dojcinovic, Dragana Peco and Nino Bilajac will officially receive the CEI SEEMO Award on the occasion of the South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) in Tirana, Albania on 15-16 November 2018.

A Special Mention has been assigned to Ákos Keller-Alánt (Hungary), for his independent work in investigative journalism and in-depth professional reporting. He has written many important and groundbreaking stories on the transformation of the media system in Hungary and on complicated corruption cases.

The jury has also decided to honour the memory of the investigative journalist Ján Kuciak (Slovakia), murdered last February, with a special mention. Moreover, a special diploma will be presented to the investigative journalist Olivera Lakić (Montenegro) shot and injured in May this year.  

17 nominations, covering 9 countries, have been submitted this year, confirming the region-wide impact and relevance of the Award.

The independent international jury: Remzi Lani (Albania), Executive Director, Albanian Media Institute; Francesco Martino (Italy/Bulgaria), journalist at Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso; Victor Moşneag (Moldova), investigative journalist at Ziarul de Garda daily; Marina Constantinoiu (Romania), editor-in-chief of miscareaderezistenta.ro website; Milorad Ivanovic (Serbia), Editor-in-chief, Newsweek Serbia magazine; and Anna Babinets (Ukraine), editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

The overall Award coordination was managed by Barbara Fabro (CEI) and Oliver Vujovic (SEEMO).

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