Presentation of the Nikola Mladenov Journalism Awards 2022

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The team of journalists Sashka Cvetkovska, Elena Mitrevska Cuckovska, and Maja Jovanovska, from the Investigative Reporting laboratory (IRL), won the award for Best Investigative Story at this year’s Nikola Mladenov Journalism Awards 2022, for the story Dirty Blood, published on the National Public Broadcaster MTV 1 and on the website of IRL.

The story discloses worrying data on how patients were treated in one of the private hospitals in the country during the covid-19 pandemic. The journalistic product contains thorough journalistic research supported by facts, evidence, and statements from many relevant sources and interviewees. The problem is explained in an understandable way, according to professional and ethical journalistic standards, as well as with a commitment to initiate institutional resolve of detected irregularities. The story, which set off an avalanche of reactions in the public, is an example of consistent monitoring of a problem of high public interest, with strong journalistic and team engagement.

The journalist Kristina Atovska received the award for Most Innovative Journalistic Product for her report on the war in Ukraine titled Life on the Front Line Trenches broadcasted on the Morning Briefing show on Slobodna TV.

The story shows the life of Ukrainian citizens, including children with disabilities, the problems they face and the support they receive from humanitarian organizations and individuals during the war in the country. Using only her mobile phone, without any additional resources or the ability to report with the support of a complete journalistic team, the author allowed the audience to hear, in an authentic and creative way, the voice of those who were on the front lines and those most vulnerable, trying to send an appeal for solidarity and support not only to the domestic, but also to the global public.

The Best Photojournalism Award was presented to the photo-reporter Arbnora Memeti for the photo Rainfall” from Carcinogenic Substances in Tetovo, published on the website of Deutsche Welle in Macedonian.

Demonstrating exceptional creativity and esthetic expression, the photo clearly and precisely illustrates the problem with extremely polluted air in Tetovo during last year's fire at the Tobacco Factory. Capturing the drama of the setting, the photo grasps the viewer and sends a clear message about the gravity of the problem and its consequences.

This year’s competition included:

  • 16 stories, processed within 77 texts and video stories, in the category Best Investigative Story;
  • 18 topics in the category Most Innovative Journalistic Product;
  • 27 photos in the category Best Reporting Photography/Best Photojournalism;

The awards for best investigative journalism stories have been awarded by MIM traditionally since 2001. The awards were named Nikola Mladenov in 2013, after the renowned journalist and owner of the Fokus weekly. In 2021, two more special categories were introduced - Most Innovative Journalistic Product and Best Photojournalism.

Photo gallery from the event is available here.