N1 TV reporter Mladen Savatovic won an investigative journalism award on Thursday for a documentary which is part of N1’s Under the Surface series.
Savatovic was presented the Dejan Anastasijevic award in the electronic media category which is awarded by the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS). Jury chair Filip Svarm, editor of Vreme weekly, congratulated Savatovic for his engagement, through and systematic work.
The NUNS award is named after the late Vreme weekly journalist Dejan Anastasijevic who covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the situation in what was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
“We the journalists are always the ones who are visible but this was a team effort,” Savatovic said and thanked video editor Igor Lakic and videographers Aleksandar Cvrkotic and Srdjan Milivojevic as well as Maja Nikolic who he said was his mentor, providing advice and understanding. Savatovic also thanked the N1 editorial team who, he said, recognized the need for documentaries “allowing us to tackle issues in a very thorough and professional manner”. “It’s an honor for all of us to fight on for freedom of the media and continue doing our job in these hard times,” he told the presentation ceremony.
Three N1 TV reporters were nominated for the prize – Savatovic, Jelena Mirkovic and Vanja Djuric – all three for their work on documentaries.
Jury chair Svarm said that 72 reports and documentaries were nominated.
NUNS President Zeljko Bodrozic thanked the US Embassy in Belgrade for its support to the award and told Ambassador Christopher Hill that he hopes that the embassy will continue aiding the democratization of Serbian society and freedom of the media.
The ambassador told the ceremony that the US supports the award every year, adding that investigative journalism is a very difficult profession, adding that there is no easy year for journalists. He said that this year is especially difficult because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We know that journalists put their lives in danger in the search for the truth and many of them have taken that risk now, he said and added that they have to be remembered.
Hill said that a free press serves the citizens not just one group of people or a business community or the authorities.