N1 reporter Adam Santovac received special recognition of Serbia's Association of Journalists (UNS) for the investigative journalism story 'Mega graduate', N1 reported on Saturday.
The reward committee said Santovac “systematically and gradually, in line with all rules of the journalism, unveiled a rotten system which consequently led to the destroying of Serbia's educational system during the past three decades.”
“Journalistically responsible and in the way that is comprehensible for the viewers, Santovac unmasked a plot at the Megatrend University,” they said.
Santovac said upon the receipt of the award that this recognition means a lot for at least two reasons.
“One of them that this award is delivered by the UNS, which makes it more objective. The second reason is the explanation for this reward – that I worked in line with all journalistic rules, given the fact that this is a topic that somehow might have gone towards being impassioned and put the reported ahead of the topic, which did not happen. And my approach would never get to the surface if there were no N1 TV, which made it possible for me to design and broadcast the topic completely freely, and to create 'Mega graduate' itself,” said the rewarded reporter.
The UNS association also rewarded several other reporters who marked this year with their stories.
It was assessed at the association's regular meeting that status of journalists and media, in general, is extremely unfavourable, that the journalists are exposed to pressures of media outlets' owners, centres of powers and the opposition.
Such status, the UNS said, is a consequence of a long-time lack of sanctions for the crimes against journalists and difficult economic and labour status of journalists and media workers.
The conclusions adopted by the UNS demand urgent completion of the process against the suspects for the murder of Slavko Curuvija, the owner of 'Evropljanin' and 'Dnevni telegraf', completion of the investigation into death of Milan Pantic, the journalist of 'Vecernje novosti' daily, unveiling the circumstances of death of Dada Vujasinovic, 'Duga' reporter, and finalising the investigations and court procedures for numerous attacks and threats to journalists and media workers.
The association called on authorities to make their best to determine the responsibility of NATO for death of 16 workers of Serbia's public broadcaster RTS, in the shelling of the broadcaster's building in 1999, and to punish the ones who ordered and committed the murders of 14 Serbian and Albanian journalists in the period 1998-2005 in Kosovo.