Two K2.0 fellows have picked up awards for their in-depth investigative articles. Artina Muçiqi and Besnik Boletini won the two awards on World Press Freedom Day presented by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo in cooperation with the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, the Office of the Coordinator for Development (UN in Kosovo) and UN Women.
Both of the winning articles were produced as part of the first cycle of K2.0’s Human Rights Journalism Fellowship, a program supported by the European Union in Kosovo, which saw eight journalists produce in-depth feature articles on topics ranging from child poverty to migrant rights.
Muçiqi picked up the Journalism Prize for Empowering Women for her article “Life and Death: The Harsh Reality of Pregnancy in Kosovo,” which looked into the lack of access to critical health care and maternity medicine for minority women in Kosovo.
“It was six months worth of work to publish this article,” Muçiqi said as she collected the award. “This means it wasn’t six hours, six days, six weeks, but it was six months of intensive work.”
Thanking editor Artan Mustafa for his collaboration and input throughout the process, Muçiqi explained her motivation for looking into the topic. “We worked hard to ensure we gave a good representation of the reality that face women from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minority communities when they require medical services during child labor or during their pregnancies,” she said.
In her winning article, Muçiqi presented the personal narratives and grave experiences of three women, but as part of her research spoke to more than 20 women about their touching stories.
“One of them, Lindita Qosaj, lost her child in the third month of her pregnancy due to the fact that there were no adequate medical conditions for a required medical intervention to treat her hypertension,” she said.
Muçiqi ended her speech by encouraging journalists to write more stories about women, in order to help create gender equality for everyone. “I hope that by publishing stories like this and approaching issues like this in as deep a way as possible, we can have an impact on the improvement of health services provided to [minority] women,” she said.
Boletini picked up the Ibrahim Rexhepi Journalism Prize for Economy for his article titled “Poverty, Insecurity, Death,” which looked into the construction industry and the social rights of workers.
“I have received a few awards, but this one is special because I worked for a long period with the late Ibrahim Rexhepi,” he said. “We worked together on pieces but I also interviewed him in the capacity of an economic analyst and I am very happy that I have received this award that was created in his name and I hope it will continue to be awarded in his name.”
Boletini’s article took an in depth look at workers who have been killed or severely injured at the workplace and the lack of social security and adequate protections for construction workers, both from employers and institutions.
You can read both winning articles, along with all of the articles from the first cycle of the Human Rights Journalism Fellowship, here.
The selection process for fellows for the second round of the fellowship is currently underway.K
Photo: Vesa Bala / Association of Journalists of Kosovo.