← Back

We proudly present:

European
Press
Prize
Shortlist
2017

Selected by our preparatory committee, chaired by Peter Preston

The
Commentator
Award
The
Commentator
Award 2017

Microrevolutions in everyday racism

— by Sinan Çankaya, published by De Correspondent, The Netherlands

Racism is not something that can only be observed in the low-income, low-education groups of people prone to right-wing populism, but is just as prevalent in circles of the elite. Albeit in a more subtle, often well-meaning way. An essay which quickly went viral, striking a chord with both readers of a migrant background as well as those it addressed.

“Long and mesmerising - the further it goes the more you learn - dissection of a journey and debate aboard a European train.”

Brexit columns by Fintan O’Toole

— by Fintan O'Toole, published by The Irish Times, The Observer, The Guardian, United Kingdom and Ireland

The pieces written by Fintan O'Toole were, and continue to be, widely referenced in the debates in the UK and Ireland.

“This is journalism. That's what I like about him. He is just really good.”

‘If you’ve got money, you vote in … if you haven’t got money, you vote out’

— by John Harris, published by The Guardian, United Kingdom

In the build-up to the Brexit, John Harris travelled around, writing regularly on the mood of people and places with a rising sense of two things: a deeply divided country, and an anti-EU campaign that was clearly doing much better than a lot of the media realised. On the day the result was announced, he poured all experiences into this piece, intending to put what had happened in the context of six years of journalism, and wider modern history.

“Most seminal British piece describing wat happened.”

Fischer im Recht

— by Thomas Fischer, published by Die Zeit, Germany

In this highly acclaimed and widely read column the presiding judge of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, Thomas Richter, addresses questions of morality, ethics and the rule of law.

“A distinguished judge who blogs a witty, explanatory column on the issues and decisions of the day.”

In Europe

— by Caroline de Gruyter, published by NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands

Caroline de Gruyter writes weekly columns on Europe and politics. In a country where the EU is deeply unpopular she tries to open the windows a little bit, by giving a broader, European perspective on current issues.

“Caroline De Gruyter’s thoughtful writing from the Netherlands, and from Brussels, add the perception of long-term engagement and knowledge of EU affairs.”

Something is rotten in the state of Poland

— by Tomasz Lis, published by Newsweek Polska, Poland

A commentary on the extreme consequences of a populists' victory in Poland. When suddenly the institutions of a liberal democracy are being demolished and a once flourishing democracy, has to be defended on the streets.

“Tomasz Lis has become one of the most recognisable faces of the impressive civic protest against the Polish government's systematic abuse of democracy.”

AA Gill faces up to his cancer

— by A.A. Gill, published by The Sunday Times, United Kingdom

AA Gill was known for his lacerating wit, his literary flair and, above all, his dazzling, original way with words. He displayed all of those virtues in two pieces written about the cancer which struck him down so suddenly - written during his last month of life. Both pieces dominated Britain's news cycle on the days they were published and exhibited the very best of his talents.

“One of Britain’s most feted columnists - on food, TV and the wider world - who announced his impending death in the course of a restaurant review, wrote profoundly about the ideological tangle of Britain’s NHS system (and added an anti-Brexit blast for good measure). When Gill died a few weeks later, the weight of tributes to his talent came from all over Britain”
The
Distinguished
Writing
Award
The
Distinguished
Writing
Award 2017

Toyota and Mercedes for the Chosen Few

— by Taras Zozulinskyy, published by Criminal.in.ua, Ukraine

A complex scheme of corruption is laid bare in this investigation, exposing how the corrupt elite Ukraine received cars without paying taxes by claiming disabilities.

“The article is written in a tone of outraged irony, makes for excellent reading - but it also details the mechanism of an outrageous fraud. Clearly award material.”

Glass Girl

— by Thomas Ergo, Rune Vandvik and Hans Petter Aass, published by Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

Through innovative methods, investigative journalism and literary storytelling, comprehensive system failures were revealed that will cause lasting changes for the Norwegian child welfare universe.

“A ground-breaking 64-page newspaper report that, by following teenage girl 'Ida' through eighteen months of her life, penetrates deep into the closed Norwegian child welfare universe.”

Colectiv

— by Irina Tacu, Ana Maria Ciobanu, Andreea Giuclea, Cristian Lupșa and Oana Sandu, published by Decât o Revistă, Romania

The Colectiv club fire sparked not only overwhelming emotion, but also protests, resignations, arrests, pub shutdowns, and public quarrels over the proficiency of emergency systems. This article reconstructs the horrendous night by speaking with nearly thirty survivors and by consulting testimonies, videos, photo’s, officials and reports. It is a testimony to how ordinary people become heroes when enormous suffering, chaos and uncertainty ensue.

“This is simply reporting done the way it should be done.”

Destination Paradise: Among the jihadists of the Maldives

— by Francesca Borri, published by Internazionale, Italy

Western tourists barely realise it is a Muslim country. Yet, the Republic of Maldives is a non-Arab country with the world’s highest number of foreign fighter per capita. Everybody has a brother, a cousin, a friend in Syria. This is an article on what we do not know about the countries jihadists come from.

“A well-written, revelatory journey beyond the tourist facade of Maldives - a clear hit for Italy.”

71 Lives

— by Felix Hutt, published by Stern, Germany

'71 Lives' covers the death of 71 refugees in a truck close to Vienna. This project is a reportage about the victims of human trafficking and the losers of the refugee crisis.

“A brilliantly written and brilliantly researched account of the refugee families who died in a sealed lorry. People, not names. A transitory tragedy made flesh by diligence and eloquence.”

Step-uncle Sam

— by Dialika Neufeld, published by Der Spiegel, Germany

In Berlin alone, more than 3000 unaccompanied refugee minors arrived throughout the year. A local child protection service is responsible for them, but the officers are completely overburdened. Children are getting lost.

“Perhaps the best, eye-popping piece of writing and information I've seen so far.”

The Story of Ahmed and Alin

— by Claas Relotius, published by Der Spiegel, Germany

There are currently more than a million child refugees in Turkey but it took Claas Relotius months of research to get this close to two of them. The result is an exclusive story that sheds light on the fate of children who may be the next lost generation.

“Vivid writing and some killer facts.”
The
Innovation
Award
The
Innovation
Award 2017

Coda Story

— by Natalia Antelava, Ilan Greenberg, Katerina Patin, Alessandra Cugno, Sophiko Vasadze, Amy Mackinnon, published by Coda Story, Georgia

Coda Story is a single-issue platform that investigates global crises. It deploys a team of local and international journalists to stay on the story for up to a year, covering it from many different angles. Coda Story has signed editorial partnerships with the Guardian, the World Policy Journal and Magnum Photo.

“The website that follows stories through and doesn’t flit away when a new story breaks.”

Damned Archive

— by Clara Jiménez Cruz, Julio Montes Moreno, published by laSexta, Spain

Maldita Hemeroteca has a small journalist team that takes political pledges from the past and compares them with performance by the selfsame politicians in office. This project attracts more than 128.000 followers on Twitter; it has a blog and it has a fixed section in primetime program ‘El Objetivo de Ana Pastor’.

“A pair of bright young Spaniards pick up old election pledges from politicians running for power and test them to destruction. It’s a tremendously popular site with a live-spin off on one of Spain’s best TV politics shows - a real force of nature, very intelligently done.”

The Turkish Coup through the Eyes of its Plotters

— by Christiaan Triebert, published by bellingcat, The Netherlands

Plotters of the failed Turkish coup of July 2016 used WhatsApp to communicate with each other. The group chat leaked and Bellingcat transcribed, translated, and analysed the whole conversation.

“A mesmeric Dutch/Turkish digital guide to the coup against Erdogan, laid out event by event; and, simply because it’s a real-life story told online chapter by chapter (rather like Charles Dickens’ novels long ago).”

The Baby in the Plastic Bag

— by Bernt Jakob Oksnes, published by Dagbladet, Norway

One October morning in 1991, a newborn baby boy was found inside a plastic bag at an Oslo graveyard. The infant was dangerously close to the point of death. This digital series tells the remarkable story of what happened.

“Amazing touching story. Story-telling which produced huge audiences and involvement.”

Monitoring EU Funded Projects in Hungary

— by Tamás Bodoky, Antónia Rádi, András Becker, Katalin, Erdélyi, Brigitta Csikász, Ildikó Kovács, Gábor Vágó, Attila Bátorfy, Zoltán Sipos, Ákos Baranya, Ákos Maróy, Balázs Krich, Mihály Orsós, Csaba Tordai, Tibor Sepsi, Balázs Tóth, Krisztina Zala, published by Atlatszo.hu, Hungary

Over recent years Hungary has received huge amounts of funding from the European Union. Now, thanks to an interactive map developed by Atlatszo.hu, anyone can learn how and where the money is spent. But also, if specific political affiliation is an advantage when applying for EU funds.

“Extremely well-researched and well written! Interesting investigation of misuse of EU funds in Hungary.”

EU referendum tracker

— by Kate Day, published by POLITICO, Belgium

POLITICO Europe has offered readers an easy way to track the U.K.’s Brexit referendum. The EU Referendum Tracker uses an Apple Wallet pass to deliver breaking news, live results and notifications to iPhones. Readers from 104 different countries were actively tracking the vote.

“POLITICO Europe managed to make sense of European politics.”

Eldiario.es’s business model

— by Juan Luis Sánchez and Ignacio Escolar, published by El Diario, Spain

The key element of this business model is a membership programme that invites readers to belong to a community of citizens sharing values such as equality, democratization, social justice and more importantly, the need for free independent journalism without restraints.

“Possibly the most interesting news website in Spain.”
The
Investigative
Reporting
Award
The
Investigative
Reporting
Award 2017

Anabolics mafia

— by Rata Mariana , published by Anticoruptie.md, Moldova

An investigation into to the trade of illegal anabolics, which are produced in the Republic of Moldova and smuggled into the EU, Africa, the USA and Russia. The article uncovers how this illegal business is protected by Moldovan state institutions, including the Security Intelligence Service.

“Extraordinary story. Impact is extraordinary. Legwork is extraordinary! Gripping, pacy investigation into how Moldovan officials and state agencies protect the country's booming, illegal trade in anabolic steroids.”

Series of articles on corruption and organized crime

— by Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia, published by CIJS, Serbia

Serbian politicians often boast of successes in prosecution of corruption and organised crime. The Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia decided to check if their statements were true.

“A testimony to the work of really good, really digging reporters serving their community.”

Panama Papers – The Secrets of Dirty Money

— by Frederik Obermeier, Bastian Obermeier and many others, published by Süddeutsche Zeitung, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Guardian, Le Monde and 39 other European media outlets, Germany

A penetrating and illuminating multi-part investigation into the murky activities of the Panamanian lawfirm Mossack Fonseca that has created hard-to-trace shell companies for corporations, politicians and fraudsters.

“The famous Panama Papers, causing ructions right round the globe, the highest salience of the year.”

Dark Money: London’s Dirty Secret

— by Tom Burgis , published by Financial Times, United Kingdom

An investigation which pierced a world that is normally hidden from all but those who enjoy great wealth or great power: the world of financial secrecy. A exposé on the role of the City of London in a global system of illicit finance, which serves kleptocrats, criminals and the super-rich.



“Superb investigation into how Britain’s financial services industry helps the rich and powerful hide tainted wealth.”

Babies for sale

— by Kostas Koukoumakas, Thanasis Trobouki, Millen Enchevs, Laurent Laughlin, published by VICE Greece, Greece

Greece is one of the very few countries in the world allowing private adoptions. This article uncovers how traffickers find impoverished, pregnant Roma women in the slums in Bulgaria and convince them to sell their babies to rich, Greek couples.

“A jolting, well crafted account of how Greek families are able to adopt Bulgarian babies in a grubby, sad trade.”

Mapping the Weapons of Terror

— by Arfi Fabrice (European Investigative Collaboration), published by Mediapart, France

East Europe’s shadow gun market is fuelling terrorism in the west, as criminal gangs use legal loopholes and open borders to traffic weapons. An international team of journalists has tracked down weapons previously used in acts of terror. From factory to bloodshed, what is the trajectory of a gun that will eventually wreak havoc?

“Really good, interesting and depressing.”

Misuse of EU-funds: Messerschmidt’s foundations investigated for fraud

— by Per Mathiessen, Jonas Sahl, James Kristoffer Miles, Peter Jeppesen, Kristian B. Larsen, Wojciech Ciesla, Michal Krzymowski, Sarunas Cerniauskas, published by Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

Thanks to research in Denmark, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Poland, Ekstra Bladet has been able to uncover how some of the most EU critical national conservative parties in Europe have abused the system of EU subsidies – and used on fictitious conferences, national party events and for purely private purposes such as travelling, hotels and dinners.

“A brilliant example of how traditional, thorough journalism can disclose hypocracy and by presenting facts to the public change the political agenda.”