Alisa Yurchenko Wins SCOOP-sponsored Award

Alica Yurchenko, investigative reporter of weekly TV show Nashi Groshi, won the Ukrainian Investigative Journalism Award sponsored by SCOOP. She was awarded at the ceremony on MezhyhiryaFest, the annual journalism conference in the residence of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych where YanukovychLeaks was born in 2014. Congratulations!

Alisa Yurchenko was congratulated by among others SCOOP coordinator Oleg Khomenok and the American ambassador Mari Yovanovitch.

Alisa Yurchenko investigated the scandal with launching of an e-declaring system in Ukraine. In her research Alisa had proven that public officials were involved in a fraudulous deal intenting to compromise the e-declaring launch, pretending that the system is not protected from hacking attacks.

Read a short version of the story (in Ukrainian)

See the TV version of the story (with English subtitles)


Ukraine’s Annual Investigative Prize to Dmitro Gnap

Dmitro Gnap, editor and investigative journalist for in Kyiv, received the Ukrainian Annual Award for Investigative journalism, the Proxy Prize, on Saturday June 6.

Dmytro Gnap was awarded for his investigation of high ranking officials, who managed to get documentation for fighting in Eastern Ukraine without being there. One was actually on a fishing trip to Latin America while ‘officially’ at the front.

The point for these bureaucrats is, that they by getting documentation for serving at the front escape the socalled “lustration” of their activities under former president Viktor Yanukovych. Gnap also documented that even for soldiers who have been wounded it’s extremely difficult and time consuming to get these documents.

Gnap has worked with investigative journalism for many years and focuses on large scale corruption and serious crimes (murder, kidnapping, etc.). He was also instrumental in the documentation of the former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s corruption, He has also provided a number of training for investigative journalists, not least on the SCOOP Russia workshop in Kalmar, Sweden, in 2014.

The prize was presented by SCOOP veteran Henrik Kaufholz from the Danish Association of investigative Journalism and consists of a sculpture and €1,000, money collected by Danish journalists. It was awarded at the Mezhyhirya Festival, Ukraine’s annual festival for investigative journalism, named after Yanukovych’s former residence.

You can hear Dmitro Gnap talk about his investigation here (in Ukrainian) and here (in English)

(Photo: Thomas Flensburg)

Two Prizes for SCOOP-Supported Stories

Two SCOOP Russia-supported stories won prizes, when Northwest Russian journalists gathered to celebrate good journalism.

Anna Yarovaya from Petrozavodsk received “The Special Prize from The Karelian Union of Jorunalists” for her story about how luxury apartments were disguised as offices.

Marina Bedorfas received the prize “Best report in internet media”for her investigation about the how the blind in Karelia do not have access to the guide dogs that they are guaranteed by the legislation.


SCOOP-Supported Journalist Wins “Golden Pen” Award

Lina Zernova, journalist from St. Petersburg, has won the “Golden Pen Award” in the category for investigative journalism for her investigation about the Krasny Bor landfill outside St. Petersburg.

The investigation was supported by SCOOP and published in Novaya Gazeta and at the Bellona website. Lina Zernova documents how huge amounts of chemical waste is stored unsafely at the landfill and how it threathens the environment and its neighbors in the future.

It is the second time in few years that Lina Zernova is honored for her investigations. In 2012 she received the award XII Artyom Borovik for her story “Who will solve the riddle of the cesium anomaly?”, which was also supported ny SCOOP.

The “Golden Pen” award is founded by the Union of Journalists in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the Development Fund for Support of the media, the Northwest District Committee of the NGO “MediaSoyuz”, and the St. Petersburg League of journalists and Guild correspondents of St. Petersburg. This year the jury was presented with a record number of entries: 398 pieces of jouralistic work from a total of 125 newsrooms.

Read more about the prize in Lenizdat and at Bellona’s website (both texts in Russian)

Read Lina Zernova’s investigation in Russian or in English

Photo: Gennady Safonov


Lyubomyr Ferens Wins 1st Ukrainian SCOOP Prize

Lyubomyr Ferens from Ukrainian TVI was the first winner of Ukraine’s new prize for best investigative journalism of the year, organized jointly by and SCOOP. The prize was awarded on June 6 at the “Mezhyhirya” festival, named after the ex-president Yanukovych’s residence outside of Kiev. Lyubomyr Ferens had investigated the police’s explanation on the shooting incident that resulted in the death of four activists in January.

The official explanation of the incident was, that police weapons could not have been used. But the reporter interviewed eyewitnesses and specialists, experimented with shots against an effigy, and this led to the conclusion that the shots could actually have been fired by the police’s weapons. The important factor was not the type of weapon, but the type of of ammunition.

The jury’s argumentation was that Ferens’ work was precise and concrete, and he was commended for taking the time for a meticulous documentation of this burning issue in a very turbulent period.

The festival took place in the hangar, where the documents from the president’s archives were dried, after journalists rescued them in a water reservoir when the president fled. The operation to save and publish the documents is now known under the name “Yanukovychleaks”. The journalists behind the project had also undertaken the big task of organizing the conference and the competition, and the jury found the winner among a highly professional group of nominees.

The winner says: “I am really happy to receive the SCOOP prize. I have reached the finals of other competitions before, but never actually won.” He remembers the work process as going on under a lot of pressure. Witnesses and experts were afraid to go on the record, and he was walking up and down the Maidan and into hospitals to find his sources. His award-winning TV investigation is the result of one week’s intense research work.

Vlad Lavrov from Yanukovychleaks and Brita Kvist Hansen from SCOOP give the prize to Lyubomyr Ferens.

The SCOOP prize consists of 1000 Euros and a sculpture, created by Vasil Tatarskij.



Two Russian SCOOP Investigations Win Awards

Two SCOOP-supported journalists from Petrozavodsk have received awards from the The Karelian Union of journalists.

Every year journalists from Karelian media are nominated for awards in several categories by the Union. It is prestigious to win the prize, and this year two SCOOP-supported investigations won prizes.

Nadezhda Mekkieva won the category “The best social article” for her investigation  “Why do people in Karelia drink bad water?”.

The film by Anna Iarovaiia “The North point” («Never-ending War») has been recognized as “The best journalistic work of online-media”.

Congratulations, Nadia and Anna!

Prestigious Prize to SCOOP’s Henrik Kaufholz

Danish journalists collected over 2000 euros to support Ukraine’s first annual award for investigative journalism.

Henrik Kaufholz, one of SCOOP’s founding fathers, tonight (April 23, 2014) received the prestigious Carsten Nielsen Prize, awarded by the Danish Union of Journalists. Carsten Nielsen was the first president of the DUJ, and the prize is given to a journalist “who has made an impact on society or cultural debate or distinguished him/herself with a particular professional effort”.

The prize was awarded by DUJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, who stated:

“The Carsten Nielsen award this year goes to a person who is so involved in investigative journalism that he knows its importance for the development of a democracy. He knows that investigative reporting can topple governments and start revolutions – not that this is important in itself, but because people in countries, where the media work in difficult conditions, also have rights to get an insight into the decisions of their politicians.”

“Journalists in Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan know the recipient as well as we do – maybe even better. Because in these countries he has done a unique voluntary international work.”

SCOOP is one of the very visible results of this work, and Blicher Bjerregaard pointed to the work these months with Yanukovychleaks, which would maybe not have been possible without SCOOP and Henrik Kaufholz’ work to promote and develop investigative journalism and the qualifications among journalists..

The prize was awarded at the DUJ bi-annual Professional Forum with around 300 participants. In his thank you-note, Henrik Kaufholz encouraged all the participants to contribute to a sum to constitute the prize to the first national award for investigative journalism in Ukraine. The prize will be handed out the first time on June 6 this year, and Kaufholz promised to double any collected amount up to 1000 euro with his own prize money.

The participants more than lived up to any expectations and collected more than 2000 euros. All in all, a prize of 1000 euro is now guaranteed for the first three years for good investigative journalism in Ukraine.


Award for SCOOP-Supported Journalist i Russia

Anna Tokareva, a participant of SCOOP Russia-2012, has won a prestigious award at the XIth “SeZaM” award evening.

Anna won one of the main nominations for her TV-programme “Karelia.tochka”. It was recognized for “The best coverage of life in the regions” in 2013. Anna Tokareva shot 32 films about Karelia for this programme. One of them was done with SCOOP support. It was the investigation «Devil’s tracks (Belomorsk petroglyphs) – brand or burial ground?» – see the program and read the manuscript in English.

“SeZaM” is an annual forum, which is organized by the Association of the North-West Mass Media.

SCOOP-supported Journalist Wins Prestigious Prizes in Croatia

Sergej Zupanic revealed how Croatia imported 11,677 tons of asbestos products, mostly from EU countries, even if both import and export of asbestos is banned in the EU. He also revealed how the control system was totally ineffective.

During this year, the investigative Croatian journalist Sergej Zupanic has won two prestigious Croatian awards for his investigative article about asbestos, which was supported by the SCOOP. The article “Forbidden asbestos imports from the EU” was published on April 20th 2012 in the political weekly Forum, which was abruptly shut down few months later despite high popularity in the society due to its exceptional quality.

Zupanic revealed that the Republic of Croatia imported 11,677 tons of asbestos products, of which 87% came from EU countries, even though Croatia banned the production, import, export, transfer and processing of asbestos on  January 1st 2006 in accordance with EU rules.

He also revealed how the state agency system, whose task is to prevent such activities, in fact was organised to be absolutely ineffective.

For his asbestos article Zupanic was awarded with Velebitska Degenija, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) award for environmental journalism. Also, HND in May 2013 awarded Županić for a series of investigative articles published in 2012. The article which was particularly highlighted by jury on this occasion, was the one about asbestos.


SCOOP-supported Story Wins Artyom Borovik Award

Reporter Lina Zernova received the Artyom Borovik prize for investigative journalism, which is awarded annually in Moscow.

The jury decided to give the award to Lina Zernova for her investigation “The Gulf of Finland: Who Will Solve the Mystery of the Cesium Anomaly?”. It was published on the web-site of the environmental NGO Bellona and in the Gorod magazine.

Last year, Lina Zernova received the prize of “World of pure water – 2011” contest for this investigation.

Other winners of the Artyom Borovik prize this year were Roman Anin (“Novaya Gazeta”, Moscow), Elena Suslov (“Open to everyone”, Stavropol), George Borodino (“Novaya Gazeta” , Omsk). The Artyom Borovik prize for investigative journalism has existed since 2001 year. Anna Politkovskaya received this prize in 2006.