Vienna – ESI in jury of BIRN Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence
On 19 May 2022 the jury of the BIRN Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, of which ESI's Kristof Bender is a member, met in Vienna to award the prizes for 2020. Due to the pandemic, the the award ceremony for the 2020 cohort of the fellowship had been considerably delayed.
The first prize went to Dariusz Kalan, a Polish journalist, for his investigation of the erosion of judicial independence in Poland, shown through the case of a minor road traffic accident involving a Fiat driven by a student and the Polish prime minister's limousine: The Car Crash That Bent the Wheels of Polish Justice.
This year the jury decided to award three 2nd prizes (but no 3rd prize). They went to Klodiana Lala (Albania) for her investigation of a gruesome kidnap and murder of a furniture-store owner from Tirana whose brother happened to be involved in the cocaine trade (Albanian Crime Story: Hostage to the Cocaine Supply Chain ); Marija Vucic (Serbia) for her story Hate, Lies and Vigilantes: Serbian 'Anti-Vaxxer' Brigade Plays with Fire, a detailed investigation of a Serbian far-right Facebook group; and Iason Athanasiadis (Greece) for The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, a story looking at the Greek state's failure to investigate a police assault on an young Greek anarchist protester.
Ten journalists from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Serbia spent months pursuing in-depth stories and investigations, working closely with Neil Arun, a highly experienced editor. The stories of all fellows are available at the site of the fellowship programme, which is supported by Erste Foundation.
- BIRN, Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence — Winners Chosen (20 May 2022)
- Dariusz Kalan, The Car Crash That Bent the Wheels of Polish Justice (28 October 2021)
- Klodiana Lala, Albanian Crime Story: Hostage to the Cocaine Supply Chain (1 July 2021)
- Marija Vucic, Hate, Lies and Vigilantes: Serbian 'Anti-Vaxxer' Brigade Plays with Fire (21 September 2021)
- Iason Atanasiadis, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist (6 December 2021)
- Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence