DIG Awards | International investigative journalism awards. Announced 15 finalist works in the competition, 8 pitches pre-selected

The winners will be announced and awarded on June 25th during the DIG Festival held in Riccione from June 23rd to June 26th.

New migration routes, environmental exploitation, terrorism. Also, illegal trades, food frauds. These are some of the main topics among the 15 finalist works selected for this year’s DIG Awards, an international award to honour the best international investigative video-reportage. The awards will be presented on the Award Ceremony on June 25th, in Riccione.

The DIG Awards’ Jury members selected 15 finalists among the investigations and reportage. The authors of the works are journalists and reporters from all around the world who distinguished themselves for the capability to spotlight a different range of topics. The migration crisis is certainly the most discussed issue among the participants in the DIG Awards 2016, picturing what is happening on the main migration routes: if last year the focus was on the landings, this year there’s more attention on the long marches resulting in the situation at the European frontiers.

More than 300 works were submitted in the six categories. The selection of the finalists was based on the following criteria: strenght of the stories, independence and courage, technical quality and narrative structure.

The DIG Awards were born to enhance the in-depth investigation of those who dig for the truth. This year, there were 6 categories: Investigative, Long Reportage, Short Reportage, Digital, Data Journalism and Focus on Italy.

The eight finalist for Focus on Italy — competition sector which encourages new investigation on our country — will present their works during a pitching session at the DIG Festival. There, broadcasters, commissioning editors and producers will choose the winning project which will be awarded with 20.000 euros to be used in the production of their inquiry.

The winners will be presented on June 25th during the DIG Festival. The event from June 23rd to June 26th will turn Riccione into the capital of international journalism. The festival will host expositions, performances, workshops, talks where journalists from all around the world will dialogue with other experts and common citizens, to encourage a shared reflection on the news industry as well as on current events.

President of the international Jury is Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Investigative Journalism Centre in London and author of more than fifties investigative programmes for BBC, Channel 4 and PBS. The other members of the Jury are: John Goetz, founder of the investigativehe German network NDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung; Neils Hanson, Scandinavian icon of investigative journalism and Swedish tv SVT; Sarah Harrison, journalist and legal counselor, with Edward Snowden during the famous escape in 2013; Alexandre Brachet founder of the French production company Upian; Riccardo Chiattelli, laeffe tv director; Corrado Formigli, author and anchorman of the tv programme Piazza Pulita (La7); Monica Maggioni, president of the Italian network RAI; Marco Nassivera, news director for the French-German network Arte; Alberto Nerazzini, freelance journalist, previously collaborator for tv programmes Annozero and Report; Juliana Ruhfus, reporter for AlJazeera English; Andrea Scrosati, executive vice president programming for Sky Italy; Margo Smit, journalist and ombudsman at Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Finalists 2016


Freightened. The Real Price of Shipping di Denis Delestrac| Polar Films| Das Erst, ADR

90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points. FREIGHTENED — The Real Price of Shipping, answers questions such as: Who pulls the strings in this multi-billion dollar business? To what extent does the industry control our policy makers? How does it affect the environment above and below the water-line? And what’s life like for modern seafarers? Taking us on a journey over seas and oceans, FREIGHTENED — The Real Price of Shipping, reveals in an audacious investigation the many faces of world-wide freight shipping and sheds light on the consequences of an all-but-visible industry.

The Italian Handshake di Ali Fegan & Lars-Goran Svensson | Mission Investigate, SVT 1

In 2012 Sweden bought 7 new SAR-helicopters (search and rescue) from the Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland/Finmeccanica. A contract worth at least 250 million USD. The Swedish government assured the taxpayers that these were the best helicopters to the best price. The Italian firm claimed the affair was all open book. Then why did they have to lie, classify crucial documents as confidential and break the law? The investigative team of SVT could by engaged and tireless journalism reveal how the officials at the SMA (Swedish Maritime Administration) bypassed the public tender and negociated the deal in secret with AgustaWestland’s Icelandic sales agent. Furthermore, how they used private email accounts and Hotmail to communicate with the Italian manufacturer to secure the deal in complete secrecy. In one email they wanted ”to shake hands” weeks before the public tender was even announced to the market.

Ukraine: masks of revolution di Paul Moreira | Premieres Lignes | Special Investigation, Canal +

Without them, there would have been no Ukrainian revolution. In February 2014, paramilitary groups fought against the police in the streets of Kyev and ousted President Yanukovych. They settled a new government. According to western media, they were the revolution heroes. They fought on the right side. But they are actually extreme-right militias. And they are now heavily armed. The Right Sector, Azov or Svoboda created parallel irregular forces that easily go out of control. In Odessa, in May 2014, they were responsible for a mass killing without facing any charges. 45 people burnt to death. A massacre that didn’t get much attention. How come western democracies haven’t raised their voice in protest? Most likely because these Ukrainian nationalist militias actually played a significant role in a much larger scale war. The Ukrainian revolution was strongly supported by the US diplomacy. In the new cold war that opposes Russia to the USA, Ukraine is a decisive pawn. A tactical pawn to contain Putin’s ambitions. “Ukraine, masks of the revolution” by Paul Moreira sheds light on this blind corner.

Long Reportage

Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria di Medyan Dairieh |Vice News

VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh gains exclusive access to the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, al Nusra, a jihadist group fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and the Islamic State (IS). Spending more than a month with al Nusra and exploring their expanding territory, Dairieh meets the highest-ranking members of the organization, who reveal their identity on screen for the first time and discuss their military doctrine. Al Nusra, which swore allegiance to al Qaeda two years ago and is now emerging as a powerful force to rival IS in Syria, has seized several strategic towns in the northwestern province of Idlib. While it supplies water, electricity, and food to the local population, a school run by al Nusra is also grooming young boys to become the next generation of al Qaeda and preparing them for jihad..

#myescape di Elke Sasse |wdr |deutsche welle

The documentary film #MYESCAPE assesses the journey that refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea chose to undergo, as the circumstances in their home-countries became increasingly unliveable. Hundreds of thousands are leaving their countries, families and old lives behind, in search of some basic safety and freedom. In most cases, the mobile phone became a quintessential tool to facilitate the organisation of ones escape and the constant companion. This has lead many to document their experiences. We chose to use footage which has been shot by the refugees themselves — enabling us to show first hand accounts through their own eyes & lenses. The camera was there with them as bombs hit their streets and houses were crushed to rubble, as they risked their lives to pass borders by feet, boats, trains or cars. Their memories provide the evidence for us. The unique form of narration allows us a very personal glimpse into their lives before, during and after their escape. It leaves us with a realistic impression. Within a timeframe of 90 minutes, these insights are interwoven with reflective in-depth interviews with the protagonists, connecting the outer journey that they went on, to the one that took place within.

Fukushima: A Nuclear Story di Christine Reinhold, Matteo Gagliardi, Pio d’Emilia | Sky Italia

A powerful investigation — shot from March 11th, 2011 through March 2015 — that sheds some light on what really happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that followed.

Inside The Battle

Short Reportage

Turkey : ISIS — Erdogan, dangerous liaisons?

Guillaume Perrier et Marc Garmirian | Arte Reportage, ARTE GEIE

On October 10, 2015, Turkey was hit again in Ankara by the deadliest attack in its history: 102 dead, over 500 injured. It has been the third attack since June perpetrated by young jihadists from Adıyaman, a city of 200,000 inhabitants in southeastern Turkey. A group of 21 potential human bombs is now wanted by the police. The families of four of these young people claim they have warned the authorities for months in order to denounce their own children. In vain. How could this terrorist group establish itself and recruit youngsters in Turkey? How could the members come and go to Syria without being detected by the Turkish security services? The Turkish authorities are at best accused of inaction, at worst of complicity. President Erdogan has taken advantage of the attacks to justify the repression of Kurds in the south. As a result of the conflict, 250 civilians have been killed in three months. Would it be a strategy of chaos to win back, in the frame of the parliamentary elections of November 1, the absolute majority lost in June? But at what cost?

Beyond the wall |di Berber Verpoest| Vranckx, VRT

In Beyond the wall we follow two young Palestinians who are facing the many restrictions in Palestine on a daily basis but despite everything have decided to chase their dream. Marcel is a young Palestinian runner who lives in the Gaza strip. His dream is to run the Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem in the West-Bank. He has been refused to travel to Bethlehem for the last two editions but he still has hope he will get permission to leave Gaza this time. Rawan Bannoura a young Palestinian woman helps organising the Right to movement’s; the marathon in Bethlehem and participates for the third time. Together with a group of young runners they get in shape but it is also a way to claim their right to movement, a call for freedom. The marathon both a sports event and a way to get their message across to the world. From sports to politics, it’s only a small step in Palestine. We run alongside the wall and look back on the war of the previous summer from which Gaza hasn’t recovered yet.

Travelling with the refugees|di Valentina Petrini| Piazza Pulita, La 7

I left from Salonicco to get to Graz (Austria) through the Balkan route. Two week as a refugee among refugees. I pretended I was a Kurdish Syrian, wife of young Kurdish man named Ivan, coming from the city of Amuda. I walked through fields and railways with him and his whole family . We paid the traffickers twice: from Pescavo to Belgrado and from the Serbian-Hungarian border to Budapest. At the end..


Anti-immigration, anti-liberal: meet Sweden’s far-right future

di Phoebe Greenwood, Simon Rawles |theguardian.com

Sweden’s liberal identity is under attack. As increasing numbers of refugees enter the country, anti-immigrant violence is rising. And the Sweden Democrats, a radical nationalist group, is now the third largest party in the country. Phoebe Greenwood meets the young Swedes who believe multiculturalism is a threat — and the migrants afraid of what this means for them.

Germany Promised Land di David Chierchini, Matteo Keffer | repubblica.it

In the fall of 2015, hundreds of thousands of refugees reached the German border with Austria seeking shelter from the wars of the Middle East. A critical situation that Germany struggled to handle, caught between spontaneous welcoming gestures by the population and dramatic outburst of violence pushed by the rise of nationalistic and xenophobic movements like Pegida. A journey in the heart of the country during the peak of the refugee crisis.

Ecuador’s Secret Oil Road di Nina Bigalke |reported.ly

“Ecuador’s Secret Oil Road” exposes the Ecuadorian government’s cover-up of illegal activities by the state-owned oil industry in the Amazon. Nina Bigalke’s investigative video shows exclusive undercover footage she shot of an illegal and highly destructive road built by oil giant Petroamazonas deep in the rainforest — cutting through what biologists identified to be the most biodiverse place on earth: Yasuní National Park. In sharp contrast to the video evidence — corroborated by geographers at the university of Padua — Ecuador’s Hydrocarbon Secretary told Nina in a rare exclusive on-screen interview that she is “positive” that there is no road. The video also includes footage shot inside the “ground zero of the oil controversy” (National Geographic), an oil block called “ITT”, infamous for a failed international high-profile initiative to keep the oil in the ground. It highlights the acute dangers faced by local environmentalists and indigenous communities opposing oil developments.


Fatal Extraction di Eleanor Bell, Will Fitzgibbon, Chris Zubak-Skees |http://projects.icij.org/fatalextraction/

Australia is a giant in African mining, but its vast, sometimes deadly footprint has never been examined — until now. Australian-listed mining companies are linked to hundreds of deaths and alleged injustices which wouldn’t be tolerated in better-regulated nations. “Fatal Extraction” combines traditional investigative reporting with innovative mobile and web-native presentation to reveal deaths, injuries and allegations of labor abuse involving Australian mining companies operating in Africa. “Fatal Extraction” uses primary source data that, in most cases, has never been seen before outside its country of origin. This includes court filings from Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Niger and Ghana; internal incident and medical reports from Malawi, Namibia and Mali; interview transcripts and trial footage from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Fatal Extraction” also used data obtained from freedom of information requests made to authorities in Australia and in South Africa. We built on what NPR calls a “sequential visual story” to deliver this large and complex investigation to users through a simple interface.

Medicamentalia — Third World Treatments ¿First World Prices? di Eva Belmonte |medicamentalia.org/en/

Medicamentalia is a field research and data journalism investigation from Civio Foundation, a Spanish not-for-profit news organization with the mission of increasing government transparency and accountability through the use of information technologies and data journalism. The main output is a compiled and analysed database which reflects the differences in access to 14 drugs deemed as essential by the WHO in 61 countries, most of them developing countries. How many hours of work needs a Haitian or Ethiopian to pay for the most common antibiotic? To answer this, we looked at two relative values: the relationship of the overall cost with international referenced price and, more important, working-hours needed by the citizens of each country to buy the full treatment.

The wave of reconstruction
di Alessia Cerantola, Emanuele Satolli, Matteo Moretti |thewaveofreconstruction.com

On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9 earthquake with its epicentre off the north-eastern coast of Japan, triggered a tsunami of up to forty meters. The wave came slowly and relentlessly, engulfing entire cities. Five years later, that part of the coast is still a dusty construction site stretching as far as the eye can see. Behind the uninhabited woods that separate the coast from the hinterland, are open expanses of fresh soil and an incessant background noise of trucks, bulldozers and drills working on the reconstruction. New urban centres have risen up from the ashes of the towns and fishing villages washed away by the water. But something is missing from them: the nearly 15,900 people who died and the 2,500 still missing. Most of the survivors still live in temporary homes, some have already received permanent accommodation, others are gone and perhaps will never come back.

Fatal Extraction


*Chinese or Italian?

Teresa Paoli

*The Organization

Giuseppe Borello, Andrea Sceresini

*Dangerous Flights

Luca Verducci

*Italian Food — Life is Hell

Massimo Cappello, Giacomo Di Girolamo, Marzia Maniscalco

*Lords of the Cities

Diego Gandolfo e Alessandro Di Nunzio

*Pitch Black on Red Tomatoes

Giulia Bondi

*The steelplant

Marco Amenta

*Unknown Male Number 1

Hugo Berkeley

Info: www.dig-awards.org

DIG celebrates and supports brave and impactful investigative journalism.

DIG celebrates and supports brave and impactful investigative journalism.