The Fetisov Journalism Awards, which offer the largest prize in journalism in the world today, announced its 2022 winners in Raffles Dubai, UAE.
‘Brilliant, independent and fearless’ – all the winners of the Fetisov Journalism Awards
Outstanding acts of journalism from Europe, Africa and Latin America have scooped the top prizes at this year’s Fetisov Journalism Awards, the world’s richest media prize.
The 12 winners for the 2022 awards shared a fund of more than $500,000 at a gala celebration in Dubai that showcased journalism as a public good through “brilliant, independent and fearless reporting.”
The winners in the four categories, who each receive a first prize of around $100,000, were:
Investigative Journalism: The Mexican team of Kennia Velázquez, Elizabeth Rosales, Nicolás Aranda, Miguel Ángel Cabrera, Juan José Plascencia, Emilio Jiménez, for their report Coca Cola’s token Tactics to influence public health policies a compelling expose of corruption in Mexico.
Environmental Reporting: Ruth Maclean (Senegal) and Caleb Kabanda (Democratic Republic of Congo) for What Do the Protectors of Congo’s Peatlands Get in Return? A riveting report on how communities in the heart of Africa are dealing with environmental crisis.
Contribution to Civil Rights: A report from a courageous team of reporters from Europe who exposed the hidden and shameful evidence of violence against asylum seekers on the borders of the EU.
Contribution to Peace: Nidzara Ahmetasevic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, for Real-life Heroines a stunning and inspiring homage to the remarkable work of women from Srebrenica, place of a notorious massacre, who work tirelessly to help other women both in their own homeland and beyond.
The Fetisov Awards are managed out of Switzerland by an independent charitable foundation set up in 2019 by the family of Gleb Fetisov, the entrepreneur, media producer, scientist and philanthropist.
The winners were chosen from 350 entries submitted by journalists working for news media in 81 countries.
Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists and FJA jury member told the winners and guests: “The awards highlight the role of journalists as watchdogs, peacemakers, guardians of civil rights and promoters of environmental protection. These awards serve journalism as a public good.”
Aidan White, an adviser to the FJA and President of the Ethical Journalism Network added: “This is the best of journalism. This year we have brilliant, independent and fearless reporting that shows how public interest journalism is alive and well around the world.” During the ceremony he delivered a tribute to investigative reporter Mohammed Abouelgheit, a much-acclaimed journalist and previous FJA winner in 2019 and 2021 who died tragically last year at the age of 34.
Gleb Fetisov, opening the event, described the winners as heroes who demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism and courage. He praised their achievements at a time when the quality of information is getting lower and is “often immoral, unqualified and biased.”
“True, independent journalism,” he said, is about “maintaining the standards of the profession, cool observation, rationality and courage. It is the courage of the last sane person in times when the world is going mad and drowning in lies.”
He warned that politicians and corporations and the mainstream experts serving them are leading the world to the edge of the abyss and he challenged the idea that the awards need to be sensitive to the political mainstream.
“The award was created for independent minds. It is not in the slightest about politics,” he said. Instead the awards are about conscience, truth and justice. “My mission is to make the award a guiding light for people to follow the path of truth and goodness.”
He was supported by his daughter Alisa who also addressed the ceremony.
The other winners on the night were:
Florian Guckelsberger and Manuel Daubenberger, from Germany, who took second prize in the investigative journalism category for their report The business with bloody cotton and third prize went to Isabella Cota and Adam Williams, for their expose of one of the largest bilateral corruption cases in US-Mexico history.
Second in the environmental journalism category was American journalist Lois Parshley for her report Cold War, Hot Mess which exposed a long-running scandal over the handling of nuclear waste by the US government.
Third prize went to Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar from India for Climate Change Is Stretching Mumbai to Its Limit which exposed how victims of climate change fight for their lives – and can win support when their story is told.
In the civil rights category the second prize was awarded to South Africa’s Daneel Knoetze for his series Above the Law, a powerful report on the shadowy world of policing and wrong-doing in law enforcement which has echoes of the tyranny of apartheid.
In third place was Peter Guest, from the UK, for his sobering series In the Dark — Seven years, 60 countries, 935 internet shutdowns: How authoritarian regimes found an off switch for dissent which revealed documents showing how powerful people and groups clean up their digital past using a reputation laundering firm.
Finally, in the category Contribution to Peace the second prizewinner was the Indian journalist Safina Nabi for How Kashmir’s half-widows are denied their basic property rights a story that describes the everyday lives, dramas and never-ending hopes of more than 1,500 women, many of whom are denied official help and governmental support because of the unclear status of their men.
The third prize went to Austrian reporter Evelyn Schalk for Night falls on Austria for Afghan Astronomer. Chronology of a broken promise which chronicles the poignant and inspiring story of the first Afghan woman astronomer who was denied the support she was promised.
The second prize winners each receive 20,000 Swiss Francs (around $20,000) and those in third place receive 10,000 Swiss Francs (around $10,000)
All of these stories are available by the link in more detail and a film of the awards and more background to the event will be placed on FJA website and social media soon.
The FJA annual e-publication will be released in June 2023.