The motivation behind the Young Investigative Journalist Award initiative (that we co-founded along with SciFY):

“Markets have never supplied as much news as democracy demands”[1]

We believe that the existence of such an award is essential because it will reward and encourage young professionals. Young professionals who are working for the sake of common good and public interest; who investigate and monitor the work and decisions of greek authorities, of civil society, of legal and natural persons currently trading in greek territory as well as the impact and the consequences of their actions.

According to a recent survey, an overwhelming 96,74% of greek citizens believe that Greek journalists are manipulated[2], which is quite alarming as for the quality of information the Greeks believe to be receiving and the general state of democracy in Greece.

At the same time, journalism is going through a rough time, what with the media bleeding red ink and the consequential lack of means for journalistic research. Most media fail to support journalists either because of their financial reality or because of their difficulty to adjust to the fact that technology has radically changed the way people work and narrate; or, even, because they are so dependent on local institutions, politicians and entrepreneurs, that they are obliged to turn a blind eye and suppress various matters of importance for public information.

Although a barrage of information could be considered as the main characteristic of the era we’re living in, the average theoretical background of citizens is not sufficient for the analysis and definition of the exact content of the actions of the forenamed persons and entities. It is, therefore, necessary that journalists process, explain and sort out all this information and data randomly thrown at them.

Acknowledging that the contribution of journalism to the maintenance of a free and democratic society is fundamental and believing that its role in democratic politics and market economy is irreplaceable, we are aiming at the establishment of an Investigative Journalist Award, which will encourage young reporters to get deeply involved with investigative journalism and technological advances, while proving that whatever someone, somewhere does not want published, is – in fact – a public good[3].

However, journalistic research has its boundaries; not everything is allowed. Anyone interested in the competition should carefully go through the terms and clear references regarding the protection of personality rights, personal data and copyright. In this webpage, you may also find helpful material including legal articles about press-related Greek and European legislation, journalistic research limitations, constitutional consolidation regulations and provisions on protection of citizens from public or private bodies in possession of their personal data.

Soon, we will also announce further information on the “hackathon”, another attempt to put technology at the service of public interest, which will take place in the context of the same competition. The “hackathon” will be a two-day meeting, during which, programmers will be “meeting” with and working along journalists and citizens. Their objective will be creating applications which will help not only journalists, researchers and citizens to gain access and be able to process data, but also public services to control state bureaus more effectively – either because of their interaction with citizens or simply because this may be helpful to their own internal procedures.

On behalf of the organizers, looking forward to the results of the competition:


Elina Makri

[1] Columbia University, TOW Center for Digital Journalism, Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present, November 2012

[2] „How citizens view journalists and media“, survey in the context of „Quality Journalism and New Technologies” (MA) 

[3] Lord Northcliffe: “News is something someone somewhere doesn’t want printed. Everything else is advertising.”