Balkan Investigative Team Wins Global Shining Light Award

    Winning submission exposes corruption that denies reliable electricity
    to citizens of Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Albania

    TORONTO, May 1 /CNW/ - The first ever Global Shining Light Award will be
presented to Power Brokers at The Global Investigative Journalism conference
May 26, 2007 in Toronto. This award was created to recognize and celebrate
courageous investigative journalists and their work.
    Journalists and film makers from twenty-two countries responded to the
call for entries to the Global Shining Light Awards. The submissions dealt
with issues familiar to investigative reporters everywhere: corruption,
cronyism, arms smuggling, human trafficking and environmental destruction. The
entries were judged by Luz Rimban, award-winning documentary writer/producer
and contributor to the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Bob Carty, documentary
producer for The Current and The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio One; and Andre
Verloy, reporter for the Norwegian weekly news magazine Memo.
    "What set Power Brokers apart was that these stories were written under
the harshest conditions in societies where access to information is often
non-existent and where investigative reporters face harassment, imprisonment
and even death for simply doing their jobs," said Luz Rimban, member of the
judging committee. "Selecting the best among the number of entries was a
difficult task, but we were unanimous in our choice."
    Power Brokers is a comprehensive investigation into the energy crisis
that caused massive power outages in villages in Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Bulgaria and Albania. The series exposed the questionable power deals cornered
by shadowy businessmen operating across the Balkans. These deals brought huge
profits to power traders but have resulted in exorbitant electricity rates
that impoverished citizens cannot afford.
    According to the judges, this award-winning series serves as a model for
investigative journalism. It demonstrates the power of teamwork in reporting a
highly complex issue and in piecing together a story using public documents
and extensive interviews in the Balkans and in Europe. It was a risky
undertaking that scared off other potential team members.
    "We were subject to physical harassment and threatened with a lawsuit,"
said Paul Christian Radu, investigative reporter.
    Power Brokers is the result of the collaboration among six reporters:
Paul Christian Radu and Sorin Ozon from the Romania Centre for Investigative
Journalism, Eldina Pleho and Alison Knezevic from the Centre for Investigative
Reporting in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Stanimir Vlaglenov from Bulgaria, and Altin
Raxhimi from Albania.
    Stanimir Vlaglenov and Paul Radu will be at the Awards dinner, May 26,
2007 to accept the award on behalf of their team.

    For more information on the Canadian Association of Journalists,

For further information:

For further information: Media Profile, Alanna Ringler or Luciana
Tuzino, or, (416) 504-8464 or
(416) 342-1842

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