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Tuesday, 09 October 2012

Slovenian journalists win CEI SEEMO Award

Matej Šurc, Blaž Zgaga honoured for outstanding merit in investigative journalism 

Presentation of the CEI SEEMO Award in Belgrade, November 2011. Photo: SEEMO

VIENNA, Oct 9, 2012 – The Central European Initiative (CEI) and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), yesterday named Slovenian journalists Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga the winners of the 2012 CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism.

The groups said in a statement that Šurc and Zgaga were honoured for their investigative work on arms dealing in Slovenia and other countries that were part of the former Yugoslavia.

The full text of the statement appears below.

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Slovenian Journalists Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga Win CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2012

Special Investigative Journalism Diploma to Telnis Skuqi from Albania and Special Mention to CIN Sarajevo

Trieste/Vienna, 8 October 2012

The Central European Initiative (CEI) and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) are pleased to announce the winners of the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2012, Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga from Slovenia.

The jury unanimously decided to hand the Award to Šurc and Zgaga for their remarkable investigative work on arms dealing in Slovenia and in other countries of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, which resulted in the trilogy “In the Name of the State”. Their investigation was undertaken with great effort in terms of research and documentation as well as cooperation with investigative journalists from the region, which added value to the whole story. The fact that the authors received death threats after publishing the books and had to work under difficult conditions should be also highlighted. The choice of Šurc and Zgaga as winners of this year’s award is in line with the main criteria of selection – the quality of reporting; the impact on society of the messages conveyed; and the personal risks taken while performing one’s duty.

Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga will receive the Award of 5,000 EUR, offered by the CEI, on the occasion of the South East Europe Media Forum, to be held in Budva, Montenegro, on 22-23 October 2012.    

The jury also decided to assign a Special Investigative Diploma to the Albanian journalist Telnis Skuqi, a correspondent for Albania’s Telegraphic News Agency (ATA) in the town of Gjirokastra, as recognition for work on investigative stories at a local level. A Special Mention was given to CIN Sarajevo for their remarkable contribution to investigative journalism in the region.

The jury, which examined 22 nominations from 10 CEI countries, was composed of Andrzej Godlewski, deputy director of TVP1 (Poland); Drago Hedl, editor of the daily Jutarnji list (Croatia); Sasa Leković, freelance journalist and investigative reporting trainer (Croatia/Serbia); Besar Likmeta, editor of the BIRN-Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (Albania); Mitja Mersol, founder of the International Media Centre (Slovenia-Austria); and Adrian Mogos, head of the Investigative Department of the daily Jurnalul National (Romania).

The overall organisation of the Award was managed by Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO secretary general, and Barbara Fabro, CEI senior executive officer.

 
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