The winners of the fourth annual Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)-Josh Friedman Excellence in Investigative Journalism Prize were announced at a ceremony in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on 9 June 2015. The two top awards went to Nino Zuriashvili of Studio Monitor for her investigation into tuberculosis patients declared terminally ill in Georgia that went on to be cured in France, and Nato Gogelia of multi-media outlet Guria News, for a series focused on misuse of public funds in school reparations, the impact of which has led to government investigations.
A special Public Service Award was awarded to Nino Zautashvili, host of the Public Broadcasting programme “Realuri Sivrtse” for her in-depth coverage of the Georgian government’s decision to allow excavation at the Sakdrisi gold mine in a region that archaeologists claim is historically protected.
Other submissions that received recognition included investigations into corruption inside the Georgian postal service and ISIS connections in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge. (A full list of winners with links to stories is provided below). Over 75 submissions were examined by the jury and judged for their investigative professionalism, research, innovation, societal impact and ethics.
Hosted by GIPA Programme Director Tiko Tsomaia at the Radisson Blue Iveria Hotel, the event featured speeches by the prize’s namesake, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Committee to Protect Journalists Board member Josh Friedman, along with GIPA Rector Maka Ioseliani, Dean Nino Ivanishvili, data journalism advisor Peter Verweij of D-3 Media Netherlands and EJC Country Manager Josh LaPorte.
Following the award ceremony ‘Homicide Watch-Georgia’ was launched, a project to inform the Georgian public about homicide, and specifically femicide, in the country by enabling journalists to report on crime trends utilising data journalism tools and resources. The project is a collaboration of the GIPA School of Journalism, JumpStart Georgia Data Visualization Project, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
The European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) established the GIPA-Friedman prize in 2012 to recognise excellence in investigative journalism in Georgia as well as build local capacity for innovative approaches to reporting. It is part of EJC’s five-year commitment in Georgia as a member of the Press Freedom 2.0 consortium, which includes the Dutch-based civil society organisations Free Press Unlimited and Mensen met een Missie, and is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Public Service Award:
Best Investigative Interview:
Runner Up Prizes:
- Gela Mtivlishvili - Kakheti Information Center (Print Project)
- Nino Bakradze - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (TV project)
- Jaba Ananidze - Investigative studio “Rec