NetNovinar Training Centre’s story wins Investigative Reporting Award,
The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) Award for extraordinary achievement in investigative reporting was presented to a story produced as part of the NetNovinar Training Center educational programme "Investigative reporting and organised crime" . The story by Djordje Padejski, awarded in the category of print media journalists up to 35 years of age, covers hunt of protected bird species in Vojvodina. The awards were presented on May 3, the World Press Freedom Day.
Two awards were presented in the category of experienced journalists, and six in the category of younger journalists up to 35 years of age, in three subcategories: television, radio and print.
A series of articles by Đorđe Padejski on hunt of the protected bird species in Vojvodina was published in the newspaper ‘Zrenjanin’ in September and October 2005.
On receiving the award, Padejski asked to address the audience only to stress that the investigative story for which he had received the award had been produced as part of the educational programme “Investigative reporting and organised crime" delivered by NetNovinar Training Centre of the Mediacentar Sarajevo.
-I investigated this topic and published stories about it even before participating in this programme, but there was almost no interest or response, although, as a result of reporting this story, three persons involved in these illegal activities ended up in prison.
Only after I started working on this topic as part of the programme ‘Investigative journalism and organised crime’ of the Mediacentar Sarajevo, worked on it systematically and using the right methodology, I realised how complex and difficult investigative reporting actually is.
When I finished the story, as part of this programme, and started publishing it in six parts in the ‘Zrenjanin’ newspaper, I first started getting significant feedback, and then - see – I got the NUNS Award for investigative reporting – stated Padejski, adding in a message for his mentors in Sarajevo that he would send as many colleagues as possible from his native Zrenjanin for the following cycle of the investigative reporting programme.
In its elaboration the jury stated Đorđe Padejski "produced an indepth and thorough series of six articles on organised crime related to smuggling rare birds from Vojvodina. The articles are a great example of quality and lengthy investigative work and reveal unimagined scope of yet another criminal business which had not attracted major public attention."
The winners of the NUNS Awards were selected by a jury consisting of former NUNS Presidents: Gordana Logar, Miloš Vasić, Gordana Suša and Milica Lučić - Čavić. An honorary jury member was Susan Elbow, Media and Culture Advisor of the US Embassy in Belgrade. The awards were made possible by donation of the United States Embassy in Belgrade.
The awards ceremony, which took place in the Belgrade Medija centar, was also attended by the US Ambassador in Belgrade, Michael Polt.
The educational programme ‘Investigative reporting and organised crime’, as part of which the awarded story of Đorđe Padejski was produced, is implemented with the donor assistance by the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina, and UNESCO.
The applications for the new generation of students are currently accepted. The students are expected to attend the programme from September 2006 to January 2007. Five month programme does not interfere with the participants’ regular jobs, since it combines distance learning with two face-to-face workshop sessions (9 days total) in the Mediacentar Sarajevo.
NetNovinar – Centre for Investigative Reporting and Media Education is a project by Mediacentar Sarajevo and Centre for investigative journalism from Zagreb.
Netnovinar TeamSource: http://www.nuns.org.yu/aktivnosti/