Journalist Klodiana Lala has received the first prize in the “EU Award for Investigative Journalism in Albania” project sponsored by the European Union, News24 reported.
Lala’s investigation, published under the title “Wiretaps reveal the role of organized crime in vote buying” was deemed as the best investigative piece for 2019 by a jury consisting of journalists Albana Kasapi, Enver Robelli and Elira Çanga.
“The first prize went to Lala for her “careful investigation, verification of facts and determination to shed light on a phenomenon present in Albania’s society but which has rarely been fully verified. Her courageous work and verification of sources make this article credible and influential,” Kasapi said, according to News24 where Lala works.
Lala said she had done the minimum of what she could do in a country like Albania, and that the prize motivates her to do work harder.
The Albanian Electiongate revealed the alleged collusion between the leadership of the ruling Socialist Party and criminal gangs in rigging local and general elections in Albania. None of the officials has faced charges.
Second prize went to Merxhan Daci of Faktoje, third prize to Andi Malasi of Top Channel.