Leipzig Media Award Laureates 2013

In Indian public, among international observers and local colleagues, Tongam Rina has an excellent reputation, which is based on her journalistic work and her personal integrity. Although the freedom of press in India is guaranteed by the constitution, the example of Tongam Rina shows the acute endangering of critical journalists in the country.

As reporter of the Arunachal Times in the federal state of Arunachal Pradesh, she reports about corruption within local authorities in connection with the distribution of food, the questionable construction of dams, environmental scandals, military operations of extremist organisation NSCN and the situation of Indian women.

On 15 July 2012, Tongam Rina was gunned down and seriously injured in front of the editorial office of the newspaper. Currently, Tongam Rina is a guest of the "Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte" ("Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People"). She wants to investigate further on from Germany.

Journalists Brigitte Alfter (Denmark) and Ides Debruyne (Belgium) are initiators of the "Journalismfund.eu". The organisation, which was founded in 2008, promotes European, collaborative research journalism through scholarships and supports the "European Data Harvest Conference" for data and research journalism. Alfter and Debruyne recognized the need for thorough research on European issues without being impeded by national borders. The scholarships of the organisation allow journalists to work together in multinational research teams. Examples of transnational issues are trafficking, abuse of EU funds or illegal arms trafficking.

Brigitte Alfter was Brussels correspondent for the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information and founding member of the Danish "Scoop" project for the promotion of investigative journalism, especially in Eastern Europe. Ides Debruyne is the Managing Director of "Journalismfund.eu" and teaches journalism at the University of Ghent.

Link: "Journalismfund.eu"

Jörg Armbruster, correspondent of ARD television, and Martin Durm, radio reporter of SWR radio, have taken the risk to report independently and authentic from the suffering of the people in the civil war-torn country of Syria, which is supposedly one of the most dangerous countries for journalists beside Somalia. The work of both journalists cannot be assessed high enough, because the majority of pictures from Syria are dubious and second hand, which can also be manipulated. In March 2013, during a joint research trip for a documentary, both journalists were ambushed in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo. Armbruster was seriously injured. "Reporting or not when risking your life? This dilemma of reporting from crisis zones is indissoluble," stated the NDR television station in a post of "Zapp" TV-magazine in July 2012. On the one hand, the society needs reliable information and pictures from the Syrian civil war. On the other hand, reporters should protect themselves as much as possible.