Participant of Mediacentar Sarajevo Program Receives UNICEF Award
Branislav Grković won a UNICEF award for reporting on children and children’s rights for an investigative story on the distribution of child pornography over the internet in Serbia. This is the second award for a story that was created during an educational program implemented by Mediacentar Sarajevo.
Belgrade-based journalist Branislav Grković received a second award for a story he wrote as a participant in Mediacentar Sarajevo’s educational program on investigative journalism.
After an annual award for investigative reporting in Serbia in 2007 (given by the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia – NUNS and US Embassy in Belgrade), Grković won another award on the 20 November for the story “Cyber Crime – Anonymous Predators” – an annual award given by UNICEF in Serbia for best coverage of children and children’s rights.
Grković did the story on distribution of child pornography over the internet in Serbia during the program “Investigative Reporting and Organized crime”, led by Editors/Trainers Saša Leković and Branko Čečen. The story was published in the Belgrade weekly "Vreme" on 8 February 2007 and on the web portal "NetNovinar.org."
The story on NetNovinar.org is available here, and Grković’s description of his work can be accessed here.
A jury member, the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science of Belgrade, Snježana Milivojević, pointed out that despite the encouragingly high number of very good works in print journalism, the jury unanimously decided to award Branislav Grković’s story.
The statement, read by Snježana Milivojević, says:
"The Jury recognizes all the features of good investigative journalism in this article. The story is multi-layered, the text provides abundance of information, and the author’s handwriting is very specific. A new issue was raised bravely, the author speaks provocatively about a phenomenon that society is still not prepared to recognize. The journalist, Mr Grkovic, takes the more difficult road – he opted against a description of misfortune and personal drama of children that are still a frequent and sad everyday occurrence here. Instead, he raises an issue with a power of reasonable warning that the society must not take on this problem unprepared."
The statement also cites that this is an excellent and convincing investigative work, with diverse sources and quality insights, which also sheds light on the regional dimension of the issue.
In addition, it cites that the article calls for response to this type of crime and violence with good preparation and adequate policies. As an additional quality of the article, the explanation points out that it shows and proves that this is not impossible.
Judita Reichenberg, UNICEF Director for the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Croatia, handed the award to Grković at Belgrade’s Media Center.
Grković said at the award ceremony:
“I would just like to thank the trainers from the investigative reporting program, thanks to whose help I carried out the five-month investigation. To all of them in Sarajevo and Belgrade – a big ‘thank you.’”
In addition to a UNICEF medal, the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade gave Grković a free study trip to a European Parliament session in Strasbourg.
The award for broadcasters went to Dejan Radulović from Belgrade’s TV Avala for the piece “Unstoppable childhood” about the difficult lives of children in the displaced Marković family.
Twenty-nine authors applied for the UNICEF competition this year and submitted 40 works published/broadcast in newspapers, on radio or on television.
The investigative reporting educational program, during which the awarded story was made, has been attended by almost 60 journalists from the region thus far.
The program is funded by the Swedish Helsinki Committee and Open Society Fund in Bosnia and Herzegovina.