The last, unfinished story by the murdered journalist Ján Kuciak is the best investigative story that appeared in the Slovak media in 2018.
Head of the investigative news desk at the Aktuality.sk news website where Kuciak worked, Marek Vagovič, received the award on his behalf. He called the text that revealed links between high governmental officials and the Italian mafia 'Ndrangheta in Slovakia, the key text in the history of Slovakia after 1989.
Kuciak was also awarded, in memoriam, the Open Society Award devoted to the memory of Karol Ježík, which is the Grand Prix Journalism Award. The board of the Journalism Award who decides the winner of this prize, argued that Kuciak's work changed Slovakia and the world.
"His investigative journalistic work in the area of corruption and organised crime was key for Slovakia, and at the same time threatening to those who oppose freedom, openness, and transparency and who decided to silence this strong voice of truth," they wrote.
A thank you to journalists
Ján Kuciak and his last story also won the Czecho-Slovak Public Award, decided by readers in an online poll.
Kuciak's name resonated throughout the evening, many of the journalists who received awards this year mentioned him and his legacy when they stood on the stage.
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Ján Orlovský of the Slovak branch of the Open Society Foundation said that the work of journalists is essential in defending democracy.
"Therefore we devote this fifteenth occasion of the awards ceremony, not just to the legacy of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, but we also give our respect and thanks to all the journalists in their determination to continue their demanding mission," Orlovsky said as quoted by SITA.
To mark the occasion, the Investigative Journalism Fund, running under the foundation, announced its second call for grants.
Results of the 2018 Journalism Award
Best investigative story: Ján Kuciak | Italian mafia in Slovakia. Tentacles reaching out to politics | aktuality.sk, Investigace.cz, IRPI, OCCRP
Best interview: Karol Sudor | Interview with Michael Kocáb about the retreat of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia | Denník N
Best analytical story: Ivan Haluza | Farmers, do not cry. Do business at last! | Trend weekly
Best feature story: Andrej Bán | A series of reports: Agriculture frauds in the east | Denník N
Best commentary: Beata Balogová - Author's page of Beata Balogova | Sme daily
Best blog post: Marek Mach | Why a young Slovak is not right about multiculturalism | Mladí proti fašizmu
Best regional journalism story Iveta Vaculová | Debate with Petra Balogova | RTVS - Rádio Regina Východ, František Baláž | Adoptions | Rádio Košice
Best cartoon: Soňa Ševčíková, Ondrej Ivánek, Miroslav Čevela | Front pages of Denník N
Award for innovative online journalism: Jakub Tomiš, Katarína Kopčanová | Murder of a journalist and the For a Decent Slovakia protests | Instagram of Denník N
Best interview, debate: Oľga Baková, Tomáš Kaminský, Ľubica Stanek, Andrea Horečná, Ondrej Starinský | How to handle otherness? | RTVS
Best photo: Diana Černáková | Designated PM Robert Fico | SITA
Best investigative story: Ivan Brada | Reportéri RTVS: Well-chosen nominees | RTVS
Best feature story: Ladislav Ďurkovič | Reportéri RTVS: The kidnapping of a Vietnamese businessman | RTVS
Czecho-Slovak Public Award: Ján Kuciak | Italian mafia in Slovakia. Tentacles reaching out to politics | aktuality.sk, Investigace.cz, IRPI, OCCRP
Stop Corruption Foundation Award: Adam Valček, Kočner attempts to ruin Unipharma failed for now. The hostile takeover of Technopol was covered by the court | SME
Association of Publishers Award: Jakub Filo, Dávid Tvrdoň, Stanislava Ivánková, Lukáš Beňo, Jozef Benko | 25 years with the Sme daily
Solutions Journalism Award: Denisa Gdovinová, Filip Olšovský: If we were Roma, we would not come back from Britain | .týždeň
Global Journalism Award - Jana Čavojská | Forbidden Word | Plus 7 dní
Investigative Journalism Fund Award | Investigative team of Aktuality.sk
Open Society Award Ján Kuciak | Italian mafia in Slovakia. Tentacles reaching out to politics | aktuality.sk, Investigace.cz, IRPI, OCCRP