Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Exchanging experiences, expertise and workshops. Free Press Unlimited's partner meeting in Istanbul was all about true partnership. Except for one thing: the award competition. All partners were asked to submit their most prestigious project. Quite a challenge, also for the jury. The award winners were granted prize money to reinforce existing projects or set up promising initiatives in the field of media development.

And the winner is...

Drivers of Change Award
The investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda took the Drivers of Change award home to Moldova. Ziarul de Garda is one of the country's few independent newspapers and has been supported by Free Press Unlimited since 2011. The newspaper has earned the award for its immense effort to fight corruption, organized crime and violation of human rights, for over nine years already. Very impressive, taking into account that the newspaper has been sued multiple times for large amounts of money, threatening its very existence. The editorial board took action and contested the charges, resulting in the acquittal of Ziarul de Garda by the Moldovan Supreme Court in the summer of 2012. A major victory for the struggling newspaper and an inspiration for the Moldovan media and all Istanbul meeting attendees.

Innovators in Media Award
De winner of the Innovators in Media award is Gorebete from Ethiopia. Producing news and information on a very local level Gorebete attempts to encourage the dialogue between local communities, putting an emphasis on social media. More and more people in Ethiopia have Internet access and while you're reading this, Gorebete is developing a mobile version of the website, allowing even more people can read and produce local news.

Partners Choice Award
The South African Based Forum for African Investigative Reporters annually allocates an award to the best project for investigative journalism. In Istanbul FAIR itself was one of the lucky award winners. The present Free Press Unlimited partners chose FAIR as the winner of the Partners Choice Award. Fair works to improve the quality of investigative journalism in Africa, and uncover corruption, exploitation and other social issues. FAIR will utilize the prize money of € 2.500 for their projects focused on coaching and journalistic investigations.