Slovenian investigative journalists Matej Surc and Blaz Zgaga have won the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2012 for their investigative work on arms dealing in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s that was supported by Journalismfund.eu and led to the bestselling trilogy In the Name of the State.
The jury unanimously decided on Surc and Zgaga, stating that “[T]heir investigation was undertaken with great efforts in terms of research and documentation as well as cooperation with investigative journalists from the region, adding value to the whole story”. The fact that the authors received death threats after publishing their books and had to work under difficult conditions are also mentioned. The main selection criteria of the CEI SEEMO Award are the quality of reporting, the impact of the messages conveyed on society and the personal risks taken while performing one’s duty.
The award is worth 5,000 EUR and will be handed to the winners on the South East Europe Media Forum, which will be held in Montenegro on 22 and 23 October 2012.