The jury, which comprised prominent journalists and editors, unanimously awarded BIRN the prize for the most exciting and investigative work, which provoked the strongest reactions, launched a public debate and asked questions of the authorities.
Since 1991, the family of journalist Jug Grizelj, who died in 1991, has been awarding journalists and media organisations for the highest achievements in investigative journalism, developing friendship among people and removing boundaries between nations with the aim of preserving the memory of Grizelj and encouraging investigative journalism.
With the consent of the family, NUNS has awarded the prize since 2012. Recipients of this award include Lila Radonjic, Predrag Koraksic, Gordana Logar, Bojana Lekic, Svetlana Lukic, Stojan Cerovic, Borba daily paper, Beta news agency, agencija Beta, Teofil Pancic, Omer Karabeg, Antonela Riha, Milos Vasic, Brankica Stankovic, Filip Svarm, Vukasin Obradovic, Olja Beckovic and others.
The handover of the award will be held at Belgrade Media Centre on Thursday, February 5, at noon.
In the past month, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Serbia has been a target of an unprecedented attack led by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and pro government media to present the Network as EU mercenaries, spies and liars working against Serbian national interests.
The attack came after January 8, when BIRN published an investigation that posed serious questions of public interest over a tender for de-watering the flooded Tamnava mine.
The following day, Vucic responded angrily by calling BIRN’s journalists liars. All media in the country carried his allegations. Only few media dared to carry the investigation or approach BIRN for response.
A joint statement by 43 NGOs and media organisations calling on the Serbian authorities to protect the public interest and investigate legal concerns raised by BIRN over the mine tender has yielded no result so far.