BIRN Serbia’s Gordana Andric and Aleksandar Djordjevic Awarded

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The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) gave BIRN the Dejan Anastasijevic Award for its reporting on phantom organisations that extracted millions of euros from the state budget, and specially commended an article on domestic violence against children.

Photo: BIRN

Gordana Andric, BIRN Serbia executive editor and investigative reporter, and Aleksandar Djordjevic, BIRN Serbia investigative reporter, were awarded first prize at the Dejan Anastasijevic Investigative Awards.

They were awarded for their reporting on a network of fake NGOs that got millions of euros from the state budget, envisaged to help vulnerable groups in Serbia. The network was submitting fabricated financial reports and pretending it had organised mass lectures across the country, mainly on school and domestic violence.

BIRN also uncovered that Aleksandra Camagic, a senior Belgrade official and close associate of the Belgrade mayor, had been linked to the group for almost a decade.

“This investigation is actually a result of years of labour, as this is a story BIRN has covered for years, discovering more and more about this network almost every few months,” Andric said.

“Behind findings we published in this article is not just BIRN, but also a group of phenomenal women from our partner organisation Civic Initiative who, together with us, analysed hundreds of documents,” Andric added.

The jury awarded second prize to KRIK for its reporting on police official Nenad Vuckovic who, they reported, commanded the crime group that killed Aleksandar Stankovic.

Third prize went to the Centre for Investigative Reporting Serbia (CINS) for their reporting on Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party’s call centres on the eve of the December general elections, which also won the audience award.

BIRN and CINS received special commendations for their reporting on domestic violence and the mass killing at the Vladislav Ribnikar school, respectively.

BIRN received special commendations for the story “Domestic Violence Against Children: Invisible victims”, written by Dragana Prica Kovacevic, Teodora Curcic and Gordana Andric and in collaboration with media 021, Juzne vesti, Bujanovacke, Glas Sumadije and Ozon.

This year’s jury members in Serbia were BIRN founder and investigative editor Gordana Igric, investigative reporter and founder of CINS Branko Cecen, Radio Free Europe investigative editor Mirjana Jevtovic and reporter, editor and trainer Slavisa Lekovic.

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia organised the 18th annual award for outstanding investigative journalism and reporting on issues of public interest with the support of the US embassy in Belgrade on May 16.

Among the 11 nominees were two more BIRN stories: Sasa Dragojlo and Xhorxhina Bami’s “In Kosovo Clash, New Bullets and Freshly-Repaired Mortars from Serbia”, and Dragojlo’s “Albanian-Supplied AKs Fuel Violence on Refugee Route through Serbia”.