Yet the atmosphere was mostly one of celebration, with top-level speakers stressing the importance of cross-border investigative journalism and four teams collecting handsome trophies (pictured above) as well as 5,555 euros each in the first-ever Impact Award.
Sabine Verheyen MEP, who chairs the European Parliament CULT Culture and Education Committee, stressed in the opening panel discussion, chaired by European Centre for Press and Media Freedom Lutz Kinkel:
“We have increased the budget – nearly doubling it – for Creative Europe. To support investigative journalism is one of the core tasks we should concentrate on.”
Backing up this promising statement, the European Commission’s Anna Herold told the online audience of more than 300 registrants:
”We’re extremely proud of this project where full independence of the media is ensured by the arm’s length approach”.
The IJ4EU grants are provided by funds from the European Commission, administered by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and managed by the International Press Institute (IPI).