Announcing the winners of the 2023 IJ4EU Impact Award

Investigations on topics as diverse as corruption in sports, illegal “pushbacks” of refugees and the mass internment of Uyghurs in China have won equal honours at the IJ4EU Impact Award, the annual prize of the Investigative Journalism for Europe fund.

Three teams of journalists shared the limelight on Friday at a special ceremony for Europe’s only award devoted exclusively to cross-border investigative journalism. In no particular order, the investigations selected by an independent jury were:

Each team gets €5,000. The jury chose the winners from a shortlist of nominations made by independent evaluators assembled by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which runs the award in cooperation with IJ4EU partners the International Press Institute (IPI) and the European Journalism Centre (EJC).

Another investigation, Peat Pressure, received an honourable mention.

Ahead of the award ceremony on 31 March, the ECPMF team spoke to the winners about their projects, the work that went into each investigation, and the challenges they overcame along the way. Follow the links below to hear from this year’s winners.

IJ4EU Devil in the Data

The first prize of the evening went to a team of freelancers — Andy Brown, Philippe Auclair, Steve Menary and Jack Kerr — for their undercover investigation, The Devil Is in the Data, which reveals how live data fed to the sports betting industry can create a fertile ground for match-fixing.

Read the interview here.

IJ4EU Xinjiang Police Files

Next to be honoured were the journalists behind The Xinjiang Police Files. Carried out by a team of independent outlets brought together by German news site Der Spiegel, the investigation provides an unprecedented look behind China’s veil of secrecy by attaching names and faces to a brutal system that has locked away a million Uyghurs in internment camps.

Read the interview here.

Unmasking Europe’s Shadow Armies was led by Lighthouse Reports, a Dutch non-profit that works with newsrooms across Europe. It gives the most detailed picture yet of a previously deniable campaign of illegal, violent “pushbacks” in Croatia, Greece and Romania by exposing the mysterious men in masks who beat asylum seekers at Europe’s borders.

Read the interview with reporters behind the project here.

Honourable mention went to “Peat Pressure, an investigation by Irish investigative organisation Noteworthy that exposes a system of unregulated peat extraction and how two multi-million-euro horticultural peat companies have extracted it without consent and in breach of EU environmental law.

Read the interview with journalist Juris Jurāns here.

You can watch a full recording of the 2023 IJ4EU Impact Award Ceremony below.