Prize for investigative journalism to Postimees
Postimees’ reporter Tuuli Koch has received the Estonian Bonnier Award 2010 for Investigative Journalism based on her articles
revealing controversial funding of a political party in Estonia.
The amount of the prize awarded by the Bonnier Business Press and its Estonian newspaper Äripäev is 40,000 Swedish kronor.
Through three news articles in Schibsted Media Group’s Estonian newspaper Postimees in December 2010, Koch revealed that the Chairman of the Estonian Centre Party, Edgar Savisaar, had secretly requested money from a legal person from Russia to fund both his political party as well as the building of a church in Savisaar’s electoral district, making use of his positive influence on potential supporters of the Centre Party. The authenticity of the information was thereafter confirmed by Estonia’s Head of State Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and the Estonian Security Police.
- Koch’s articles produced a huge response and initiated a discussion about what is allowed in politics and what is not. Also noticeable in the case is that this is not punishable pursuant to criminal procedure, Postimees said in the newspaper’s justification for the submission of Koch’s articles for the Bonnier Award.
- Writing these stories indicated a great level of trust; both between the source and the journalist, as well as between the newspaper and the journalist, Koch said when she received the award.
- In a wider sense, a citizen can trust his country if he can trust the president, the head of the Government, security, that they all do their work and that such cases will not be concealed. I am proud of being a citizen of such a country, Koch emphasized.
Tuuli Koch applied for the award with her article “Counter-intelligence labels Savisaar ‘Russian agent of influence’”, published in Postimees on 16 December 2010, her story “Siim Kallas: the receipt of foreign money is a severe mistake”, published on 18 December, and her article “Ansip: the KAPO intelligence agency could disclose the Savisaar case”, published on 20 December.
The award was handed over to Tuuli Koch by Hans Jacob Bonnier of Bonnier Business Press.