To mark World Press Freedom Day, Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak has been named in memoriam as the country’s best investigative reporter.
Head of the investigative news desk at the Aktuality.sk news website where Kuciak worked, Marek Vagovič, received the award on his behalf.
Kuciak’s final story, published posthumously, revealed links between high governmental officials and the Italian mafia ‘Ndrangheta in Slovakia, and was considered the best article of 2018 and a key text in the history of Slovakia after 1989.
“His investigative journalistic work in the area of corruption and organised crime was key for Slovakia, and at the same time threatening to those who oppose freedom, openness, and transparency and who decided to silence this strong voice of truth,” said award’s board.
Kuciak was also given an Open Society Award devoted to the memory of Karol Ježík, and was named winner of the Legatum Institute’s Courage in Journalism Award.
“This fifteenth edition of our awards ceremony is not just in the memory of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, but also to offer our respect and thanks to all the journalists in their determination to continue their demanding mission,” said Ján Orlovský of the Slovak branch of the Open Society Foundation.