Big upset in the European Press Prize Ceremony in Amsterdam as the Serbian Centre for Investigative Journalism beats the Pulitzer Prize winning Panama Papers team in the prestigious Investigative Award. Distinguished Writing appears to be a German trait, with Felix Hutt of Stern, and Dialika Neufeld and Claas Relotius of Der Spiegel sharing the award.
Investigative Reporting Award
The judges, chaired by Sir Harold Evans, chose to honour the incredible work and proper journalism done by CINS journalists in Serbia – stories that exposed corruption charges framed and then forgotten: “These revelations fulfil the most basic promise of investigative journalists to their readers: they lift the curtains of corruption and let the light shine in.”
Distinguished writing award
Choosing between three contenders was impossible, so the award was divided between Felix Hutt, Dialika Neufeld and Claas Relotius. In their own brilliant way, describing the route of refugees to safety. The story by Relotius shows what happens when child refugees don’t make it to Europe. 71 Lives by Hutt tells the tragic history of how migrants suffocated in a sealed lorry. Step-uncle Sam by Neufeld describes how thousands of unaccompanied child refugees got lost in Europe.
Fintan 0’Toole finally received the well-deserved reward for his commentary pieces. His articles on the Brexit for the Irish Times and The Guardian, are a vivid series adding the extra dimension of Dublin alarm, as Britain voted to leave the EU. The judges hailed his perspective, acute observation and the pungent writing style that make these ideas live.
From a stronger-than-before collection of new things on the block, Christiaan Triebert of the Netherlands wins for his brilliant use of WhatsApp communications between the plotters of the Turkish military coup. As the plotters struggled through a night of chaos, many simple things went wrong, including traffic jams. Triebert’s work for Bellingcat allows readers to live through the coup that failed, facing minute-by-minute crises.
The jury was heartened by the number of young journalists who entered their work. As symbol of that rising generation they chose 26-year-old Irina Tacu, web editor at Decat o Revisita in Romania. One of the team who retold the tragedy of the `Colectiv night club fire in Bucharest. A story of young people dying told by young people, showing journalism’s way ahead.