Coda Story and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network—grantees of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)—both won a prestigious European Press Prize, whose 2020 winners were announced last week.
Every year, the European Press Prize awards the highest achievements in European journalism across five categories: investigative reporting, distinguished reporting, opinion, innovation, and a special award for excellence. Hundreds of local and international journalists from the 47 member states of the Council of Europe compete with their best work from the past year.
A NED grantee with news rooms in the Republic of Georgia and New York, Coda Story won the Distinguished Reporting prize for The Uyghur Women Fighting China’s Surveillance State, written by Isobel Cockerell—a remarkable story examining a small community of Uyghur women in Istanbul who escaped a life of repression to now lead a digital resistance. Founded in 2016, Coda Story distills complex events and trends through rigorous on-the-ground reporting and innovative multimedia storytelling to challenge conventional narratives and champion the freedom of the press. [Listen to the editor in chief of Coda discuss disinformation and authoritarian technology on our podcast.]
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), a NED grantee since 2007, received a “Special Award,” which the judges introduced in 2013 for outstanding editing, reporting, feature writing, and advocacy that “defies categories and disciplines.” Recognized for its groundbreaking transitional justice reporting, BIRN’s network of journalists monitors local war crimes trials and produces daily coverage for an online magazine and a television program, offering breaking news and analysis. With NED’s support, the group also monitors the implementation of the country’s war crimes proceedings strategy. [See more about BIRN’s award-winning work.]