NewsAwards and other recognitions

CINS Journalists Win Two EU Awards for Investigative Journalism

29 Sep 2023
CINS journalists presented with EU award, photo: CINS
This year's jury of the European Union (EU) Investigative Journalism Awards in the Western Balkans and Turkey awarded CINS journalists with two awards. The database and series of texts on the financing of political organizations in Serbia won second prize, while third place went to the series of texts "The Roads of Serbian Weapons", written in cooperation with BIRN.

The award decision was announced at the EU Info Center in Belgrade, and the awards included the work of all members of the CINS editorial staff.

The investigative team consisting of Stefan Marković, Teodora Ćurčić, Jovana Tomić, Ivana Milosavljević, and Vladimir Kostić spent more than six months investigating how parties “operate” as well as how some of the biggest cases of abuse of financing are carried out. On that occasion, they sent nearly 100 requests for access to information of public importance and analyzed more than 120 financial reports.

This led to the “Party Coffers” database and a series of texts on the financing of political organizations:

  1. SPS’s Millions: Inheritance from Communist Times Bringing in Budget Funds
  2. Vulin’s Party Hiding Expenses: Secret Premises Owned by Movement of Socialists
  3. In Six Years, SNS Spent More on Campaigns than 22 Parties Put Together
  4. Case of “Third Man from the Pub”: Testimonies of Fake SNS Donors
  5. Match Without a Referee: How Cases of Misuse of SNS Funding Collapsed

According to the jury for the EU award, this series of texts demonstrated exceptional effort in the field of data journalism, including the collection and analysis of records mainly from specially requested and hard-to-find data, and was awarded second prize.

The series of texts “The Roads of Serbian Weapons” was awarded third prize, with the award going to CINS journalists Dina Đorđević and Jovana Tomić, as well as BIRN (Balkan Insight) journalists Marija Ristić and Saša Dragojlo.

The article “Serbian Rockets Sent to Myanmar Even After 2021 Coup”, authored by journalists from two research centers, uncovered gross violations of conventions and laws on arms exports to Myanmar, a country that was in the midst of civil war when Serbia decided to export missiles to it. The article is part of cross-border cooperation, which included an organization from Myanmar, Myanmar Witness, and the Dutch organization Lighthouse Reports.

As part of its second investigation from the series of texts on weapons, CINS brought the story of the until then unknown company Valir, whose mines were onboard a Ukrainian plane that went down in Greece. Journalists uncovered the scheme of leading people in a company founded in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, which developed its business over a period of two years and became an important market player.

The series of texts “The Roads of Serbian Weapons” is an excellent example of cooperation between two Serbian investigative media outlets and foreign investigative journalists. The stories have international significance, as the jury pointed out.

The jury, which consisted of journalist Tamara Skrozza, Faculty of Political Sciences (FPN) professor Snježana Milivojević and Saša Leković, Croatian investigative journalist and president of the Center for Investigative Journalism, decided to award five awards instead of three for 2022.

First prize went to the editorial office of the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) for its series of articles about the Darko Šarić clan.

CINS journalists shared second place with Jelena Zorić from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), which she won for articles about medical abuse in psychiatry, while CINS’s and BIRN’s teams shared third place with NIN weekly journalist Vuk Cvijić, which he won for his series of articles about ties between criminal clans and high government officials.

This award was established by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, in accordance with the EU Enlargement Strategy. Apart from Serbia, it is also awarded in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Turkey with the aim of drawing attention to and promoting the exceptional achievements of investigative journalists, as well as increasing the visibility of quality investigative journalism in these countries.


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