Our investigation into campaign for ethnic minorities hijacked by Moscow among 2022’s bests in Hungary
A story by Atlatszo reporters was lauded as third best example of investigative reporting of 2022 by the jury of foremost Hungarian investigative prize. Our investigation concerned the turn towards Moscow taken by a filmmaker’s campaign that was financed by the Hungarian government and which had been started originally to support Hungarian minorities abroad. The prize was won by 24.hu’s Gergely Miklós Nagy.
A series of stories reported by Atlatszo journalists was lauded as one of the best examples of last year’s investigative reporting in Hungary. The jury of the Transparency-Soma prize graded the Atlatszo story as the third best of 2022, we’ve learnt last Wednesday at the award ceremony.
Transparency-Soma is the foremost yearly award recognizing excellence in Hungarian investigative reporting. All members of a jury of four assigns points to the nominated stories corresponding to the quantity and quality of the underlying investigative work, the relevance of the topic, and the approachability of the storytelling, resulting in a shortlist. The jury by consensus decides the best story winning the prize, while lauding the other shortlisted works.
The Transpareny-Soma prize was won by Gergely Miklós Nagy of 24.hu, who investigated the story of millions of dollars wired from the United States to organisations closely aligned with the united opposition during the run-up to this year’s elections.
The story of how Russia hacked Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs came in at second, written by Direkt36’s Szabolcs Panyi.
An investigation by Atlatszo’s own Boglárka Rédl and Márton Sarkadi Nagy was acknowledged as third best by the jury. Their investigation concerned a signature-collection campaign started to support Hungarian minorities abroad. However, the campaign — financed by the Hungarian government and directed by a documentary filmmaker allied with the governing party —, has taken a strange turn. It looked for allies in Moscow and amongst those elements of the Russian minority in Latvia that are considered to be posing national security risks to the Baltic country.
You can read the English version of our story here:
An EU signature collection initiative aiming to support Hungarian minorities abroad has taken a strange turn. Filmmaker László Pesty convinced his friends in government to receive a Hungarian state grant for an international PR campaign. With the support of his longtime friend Szilárd Kiss, a former Hungarian diplomat, he then employed bizarre quasi diplomacy to build up a network of allies from Moscow to Riga.
The jury also lauded the reporting of 444 on the corruption case of former state secretary Pál Völner.
The Transparency-Soma prize is awarded by the Hungarian chapter of Transparency International (TI) since 2016. Originally, it was set up by friends and colleagues to honor the memory of the late investigative reporter József ‘Soma’ Gőbölyös in 2001. The jury includes András Lőke, the founding president of the Gőbölyös Soma Foundation, József Péter Martin, who is the executive director of TI Hungary, media researcher Ágnes Urbán and journalist András Stumpf.
Atlatszo’s reporters have won the prize the last time in 2018, when Katalin Erdélyi, Attila Bátorfy, and Dániel Németh won the prize for their story about the luxury vehicles that prime minister Viktor Orban and the governing elite are using.
Cover graphics: Anna Flóra Jeney