Ljubljana – The Slovenian Journalists’ Association has announced this year’s recipients of the Watchdog Awards, with the most prestigious ones awarded to Večer journalist Glorija Lorenci and the Slovenian Press Agency. The jury noted that Slovenian journalism had remained responsible, professional and ethical despite a challenging year.
“The jury already found last year an extremely difficult year for journalism, and it concluded that 2021 was even more challenging,” the association said of the jury’s comments in a press release.
“Journalists have been forced to work in an increasingly hostile environment. They have been attacked by elites, blamed for the epidemic, berated by the public and physically assaulted by individuals. The public media were subjected to unprecedented pressure,” they added.
The jury said that it was surprised by the number and quality of the proposals submitted despite this extraordinary situation, adding that this had proved the great flexibility and resilience of Slovenian journalism.
The most prestigious Watchdog Award went to Glorija Lorenci, a journalist at the Večer newspaper. “Her journalistic oeuvre, with its exceptional quality and incredible range of topics, is an integral and indispensable part of Slovenian journalism,” the jury said.
The Watchdog Award for outstanding journalistic achievement was awarded to the editorial board of the Slovenian Press Agency.
“In an already challenging situation due to the epidemic and Slovenia’s EU presidency, the agency managed to continue performing its public service for 314 days without the government’s funding, while also maintaining a high level of production, and more importantly, a high level of quality,” said the jury.
The other recipients of this Watchdog Award were a journalist at the Slovenian public broadcaster TV Slovenija Ksenija Horvat, a journalist at the Delo newspaper Peter Žerjavič, and a journalist at the Večer newspaper, Ana Lah.
Horvat has successfully hosted a number of prominent experts from various fields in the last year, Žerjavič brought echoes from the EU to Slovenia as Delo’s Brussels correspondent, while Lah earned the prize for her stories about the extreme cruelty of industrial livestock farming at a Slovenian pig farm.
In the field of photojournalism, the Watchdog for the best single photograph was awarded to Nik Erik Neubauer, while the Watchdog for the best photojournalism story went to Tamino Petelinšek, a photojournalist at the Slovenian Press Agency.
The first Watchdog Award for debutant of the year went to Uršula Zaletelj, a journalist at the Val 202 radio station, while the second award went to one of the editorial teams at the Student Radio station, which impressed the jury with its commitment and diversity.
The Watchdog Awards are accolades presented annually by the journalistic community for special achievements in the field.
The awards will be presented to this year’s and last year’s winners at the Naprej/Forward Festival, which has been postponed until next spring due to the epidemiological situation.