“In the times of the increasing pressure against independent opinions, it is crucially important to support professional and citizen journalism, especially when they oppose authoritarian governments. Justice for Journalists Foundation gives media workers a chance to pursue their investigations with our financial and safety support. We hope it becomes a vital tool in strengthening press freedom and fighting against impunity all over the world.”
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Leonid Nevzlin
Today, on the World Press Freedom day, Justice for Journalists Foundation (JFJ) announced the winning applications of its Investigative Grant programme. This is the first year when JFJ will distribute grants up to $80’000 each to professional and citizen journalists, who conduct investigations into the violent crimes against media workers.
Between 14 January and 1 March 2019, JFJ has received over two dozen applications from journalists who proposed investigations into crimes against journalists committed in countries including Vietnam, Cameroon, Ghana, Russia, Ukraine, Malta, Balkans, Bulgaria, the CAR, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and others. The applications that met JFJ’s security and safety criteria were thoroughly reviewed by the Board of Experts. Following the stringent selection process and communication with applicants, the resulting shortlist of applications was brought down to nine.
JFJ’s Advisory Board has selected the following journalistic investigations for support in 2019:
- “Inside the murder case of Elmar Huseynov: How and why Azerbaijan botched its own investigation”
- “17 Black, dirty money and the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia”.
- “MasterChef. An article on how mercenaries allegedly involved in the murder of Russian journalists in CAR in the summer of 2018 is connected with the business empire of Yevgeny Prigozhin”.
- “Anja Niedringhaus – An Investigation”.
- “A bilingual investigation into the murder of Camille Lepage”.
- “Ukraine in retrospective: Journalists’ safety vs Political Environment”.
- “Proving Culpability of the Nicaraguan State in the Murder of Journalist Ángel Gahona and the Cover-up that Imprisoned Two Young Protesters”.
- “The Rise of Surveillance and Suppression in Vietnam” – An investigation on the suppression and the policing in Vietnam with an examination of the effects of new cyber security law.
- “And then there was peace” – Project will look at the role of freedom of the press in the past and during the Colombian Peace Process focusing on the investigation of the death of Silvia Duzan.
JFJ will also extend its support to Reporters Without Borders for its long-term campaign against the impunity of those involved in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Advisory Board then put the formal seal of approval on the shortlist:
- “All selected proposals look professional” – David Satter, special correspondent on Russian Affairs for the Wall Street Journal and author
- “The list is competent and all cases are relevant” – Dmitry Muratov, founder and publisher of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta
- “The list provides a good balance in terms of geographical, gender and age diversity as well as in formats of anticipated publications” – Jeff Gedmin, former president of Radio Liberty and an author
- “For the recently established foundation, receiving applications of such a solid level is worthy of great respect” – Luke Harding, The Guardian foreign correspondent and author
JFJ would like to thank everyone who helped us during the selections process and we are looking forward to working with the winners of this year’s Investigative Grants.