For more than a decade now, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo is celebrating the work of brave journalists who are dedicated to uncovering the truth and bringing to light stories that impact everyone. Without the work of the investigative journalists who hold the public sector to account and inform the public about issues that affect their daily lives there would be no successful fight against corruption.
This year, the award for the best anti-corruption story, published or broadcast on any medium in Kosovo, covered the period November 2017 – November 2018.
32 journalists have applied with 41 stories. Stories that dealt with petty bribery of public officials to multi-million-euro procurement fraud schemes. Stories about nepotism, health risks in food and medicine, safety risks in air travel. Stories that show unequivocally how corruption negatively impacts every person’s life.
The selection process this year involved an equally weighted three tier structure. Association of Journalists in Kosovo formed the professional panel of journalists affiliated with international media. The second international panel was composed of officials from the Swiss Embassy, the Embassy of the United States, the UK Embassy, the UN and the Kosovo Anti-corruption Agency.
This year the selection also included the public in order to promote the extraordinary work in anti-corruption journalism and to encourage people to read and view these stories and reflect on them as we mark the International Anti-corruption Day. The four nominees that received the highest scores were placed on Facebook and anyone with a Facebook account could view and vote on their favorite story. Over 1,700 did so. Each of the two panels and the public voting weigh for 33% of the total points for the selection of the winner.
The four final nominees were:
Besnik Boletini and Besa Kalaja, Preportr with “Door to Employment”
Saranda Ramaj, Koha Ditore with a series of reports on “Abuse with the purchase of drugs in the Ministry of Health”
Jeton Sopa, Indeks Online for “Pristina Municipal Officer "gets caught" while accepting a bribe”
and Jeta Xharra and Faik Ispahiu, Jeta në Kosovë with “Backdoor Deal Sport at International Airport”
And the winner is Saranda Ramaj.
The Anti-Corruption Journalist Award 2018 was organized through UNDP’s Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo (SAEK) project, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).