Maryna Zolatava and Liudmila Chekina, the editor and manager of TUT.by, have been sentenced to 12 years in prison following a two-month trial behind closed doors at a court in Minsk. TUT.by was Belarus’s biggest independent media outlet, and was closed down in 2021 by Belarusian authorities. Zolatava was convicted of “inciting social hatred” and “disseminating content calling for actions undermining national security.” Chekina was convicted of “tax evasion,” “organizing incitement of social hatred” and “disseminating content calling for actions undermining national security.” They were arrested during raids on TUT.by’s offices in May 2021, and had refused to sign a letter acknowledging their guilt. In July 2021, some of TUT.by’s editorial team, who had managed to flee the country, launched a new website in exile, Zerkalo.io.
Source: Reporters Without Borders
The nonprofit Civil Forum for Asset Recovery (CiFAR) is sponsoring an in-person training camp and mentorship program for journalists from Europe and east and southern Africa. This project, the fifth of its kind since 2017, is geared to support early to mid-career journalists and to increase cross-border reporting with a focus on anti-corruption and financial crime. Journalists accepted to the program will attend a five-day online training session in April and a four-day, in-person training camp in Nairobi in May 2023. Training and travel costs will be covered, and grants will be provided to cover reporting costs. Deadline to apply: March 26.
Source: Civil Forum for Asset Recovery
After three years as a global information hub for tracking the spread and impact of the coronavirus, the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has ceased collecting new data. The site – which charted cases, deaths, vaccines, and testing by country – was set up by a team of researchers who “embarked on the unprecedented effort of publicly tracking and analyzing an unfolding pandemic in real-time.” The final tally of the number of deaths worldwide linked to the virus was 6,881,955. The coronavirus dashboard became a vital resource for journalists, policymakers, and the public, surpassing 2.5 billion website views. Data will be archived to remain accessible to researchers and health professionals.
Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
Submissions have opened for the 2023 DIG Awards, the international competition that rewards the best journalism in audio and video format. Applicants can submit projects in various categories, such as investigative long, medium, or shorts, or reportage long, medium, or shorts, as well as audio and podcast categories. The DIG Pitch stream funds in-progress video investigations, awarding €15,000 (US$16,100) for grantees to produce or complete a documentary. The DIG Awards are organized by Documentari Inchieste Giornalismi — ETS, a nonprofit that supports investigative journalism in Italy and worldwide, based in Modena, Italy. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Modena in September 2023. The deadline for submitting completed projects is June 15, 2023, and the DIG Pitch deadline is July 15, 2023.
Journalists and filmmakers working on “underreported stories that break down stereotypes and build cross-cultural connections” can apply for a fellowship from One World Media. Ten international fellows will receive a £1,000 (US$1,200) production grant, career mentorship, and workshop training sessions to help them develop a non-fiction project in film, print, audio, or multimedia. The fellowships are aimed at those who are based in, or report from, the global south. Judges encourage submissions from underrepresented groups. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 22, 2023.
Source: One World Media
This week marks five years since Slovakian investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiance, Martina Kusnirova, were murdered for his work exposing corruption in the SMER political party. Their killings sparked the biggest anti-government protests in Slovakia’s modern history, as well as the biggest murder investigation. But journalists there are still regularly the target of verbal attacks by high-ranking officials. Last week, political journalist Marta Jančkárová received emails and phone calls with death and rape threats. According to the Investigative Journalism Center of Ján Kuciak in Bratislava, 66% of journalists said they had faced a verbal attack or a threat in the past year, and an International Press Institute analysis noted that five years on from Kuciak, “[politicians] have learned nothing.”
Source: Balkan Insight