EU Awards for Investigative Journalism presented in Montenegro

Podgorica, 11 May 2017 – Jelena Jovanovic, journalist at daily newspaper "Vijesti," won the first prize of the EU award for investigative journalism for stories published in 2016. Montenegro Media Institute, which organised the contest in Montenegro, received 17 entries for the award. Ms Jovanovic won the award for her series of texts about the illegal setting up of cameras and surveillance of public spaces at several locations in Kotor by unknown individuals.

The second prize was awarded to Milena Perović Korać and Milka Tadić Mijović, from the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, for a series of stories entitled "Corruption at the local level – the case of Kolašin," whilst the award for the best young journalist went to Ivan Čađenović from daily newspaper "Vijesti," for his series of articles on the suspicion of plagiarism at the University of Montenegro.

Decision on the awards was taken by a five-member jury consisting of renowned journalists and CSO representatives:dr Olivera Komar (president), Dragoljub Vuković, Snežana Nikčević, Sonja Drobac, and Olivera Nikolić. At today's ceremony at the EU Info Centre, the awards were presented to the winners by Plamena Halacheva, Head of Political, European Integration, and Trade Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro.

This is the third time that the EU Award for Investigative Journalism is awarded to journalists in Montenegro. The goal is to award journalists whose investigative stories contribute to transparency and reporting on societal issues related to abuse of power, fundamental rights, corruption, and organised crime that otherwise would not have been brought to the public's attention.

The EU award for investigative journalism is a regional initiative established by the European Commission. Within this project, organisation of annual competitions is envisaged in candidate and potential candidate countries (Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo,* and Turkey) during a three-year period, (2015, 2016 and 2017).

This contest comes as a result of the Speak Up! 2 Conference of June 2013. Montenegro Media Institute is responsible for its implementation in Montenegro, while the Ljubljana Peace Institute is the regional coordinator of the initiative.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.