The "NIKOLA MLADENOV 2023" journalism awards were awarded

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At the annual "Nikola Mladenov 2023" journalism awards competition, the journalist Aleksandar Dimitrievski was awarded the first prize for the Best Investigative Story for the story "From an underwear company to granted oversight of a EUR 1.3 billion project with outsourced experts", which was broadcast on the show "360 Stepeni".

The series of texts and supporting videos by the author Dimitrievski reveal serious irregularities in the tender procedure for the selection of oversight body over the largest and most expensive infrastructure project in the history of the country -  construction of highways by the Bechtel-Enka Consortium. By disclosing the intention for rigging the tender for oversight, which should be deemed as the only existing control level over the "secret" construction of corridors 8 and 10 and the spending of EUR 1.3 billion of public money, the journalist showed an exceptional journalistic engagement, thoroughness and systematic approach in analysis and verification of a large number of documents and data related to the contested tend.

The second award for Best Research Story was awarded to the journalist Irena Mulacka for the series of articles related to the events at the Oncology Clinic, published in the weekly magazine "Focus".

Through these series of texts, the author Mulacka publishes startling data about serious omissions and malpractices in the treatment of patients at the Clinic for Oncology and Radiotherapy. The series of stories expose in full capacity the illegal, unethical and corrupt actions of certain employees of the Clinic, which raises the social alarm and the pressure on the competent institutions to take more decisive steps for prevention of the above actions.

Journalist Martin Pushevski is the winner of the third prize for Best investigative story for the series of texts about the struggle of the citizens of the Strumica Valley against the opening of the " Ilovica" mine, published on the "Doma" web portal.

The series of articles on "Ilovica" reveals the ways in which the mine came a step closer to obtaining work permits, despite the concerns and reactions of citizens and the professional public about the damage that can be caused to the environment in the Strumica Valley.

The team of journalists consisted of Sashka Cvetkovska, Elena Mitrevska Cuckovska, Maja Jovanovska and Ivana Nasteska from the editorial office of the Investigative Reporter’s Laboratory received the award for the Most Innovative Journalistic Product for the investigative documentary "Murder in Tetovo", broadcast on MTV1 and on the IRL website.

The investigative documentary film "Murder in Tetovo" redefines journalistic storytelling. It presents in an innovative way the facts and arguments arising from the months-long investigation led by journalists on the causes for one of the biggest accidents in Macedonia, the fire in the modular covid hospital in Tetovo, in which 14 lives were lost.

Photojournalist Tomislav Georgiev won the award for the Best Reporter's Photo for the photo "Church", published in the online edition of the weekly magazine "Focus".

Commendations for outstanding journalistic engagement in the Best investigative story category were awarded to journalists Mirjana Mirchevska Jovanović, Slavica Filipovska Ivanova and Jasmina Jakimova. The "Vidi Vaka" editorial office and journalist Katerina Topalova were awarded commendations for outstanding journalistic engagement in the category Most Innovative Journalistic Product.

This year's competition, announced on January 31 and closed on February 26, 2024, received numerous applications, as follows:

  • 39 stories covered in 175 texts/supporting videos for the Best Research Story category
  • 15 topics covered in 16 texts/supporting videos for the category Most Innovative Journalistic Product
  • 21 photos for the Best Reporter Photo category.

The awards for the best investigative story have been traditionally awarded by MIM since 2001. As of 2013, the award bears the name of the well-known respected journalist and owner of the weekly magazine "Focus", Nikola Mladenov.

The report of the Commission is attached hereto.

Photo gallery of the event is available here