PRIZE FOR INVESTIGATIVE WRITERS

A new foundation which aims to support the work of investigative journalists in Hungary has been formed in honor of a young reporter who died of cancer.

The József Göbölyös "Soma" Foundation was set up in order to encourage investigative journalism, still in its infancy in Hungary. It was named in memory of Göbölyös, known as Soma, who died a year ago at the age of 37, and started by friends, colleagues and family. Investigative journalism was Soma's primary vocation, mostly at the HVG weekly magazine. Every January a Ft1 million ($3,570) prize will be given to a reporter considered to have written the best Hungarian-language investigative article during the preceding year.

Lawyer György Fehér, one of the founders of the foundation, said, "Soma was a dedicated journalist, unremitting and uncompromising in his dedication to the pursuit of the hidden truth. "He chose his topics with acumen and his approach sought, in many instances, to dethrone the subjects of his inquiry. "Intrigued by stories that did not fit into the conventional paradigm of investigative reporting, political corruption was seldom subject matter. "He was always an outsider who did not belong to any side."

Mihály Sükösd, media researcher, said newspapers and magazines could not invest in investigative pieces in Hungary because they were unable to finance the work of a journalist for months or even longer periods of time. He added newspapers did not take the trouble of protecting freelance journalists in court cases and also pointed out that investigative journalism was taught at very few journalism schools.

Any author or authors of published and unpublished works on Hungarian social or economic topics can apply for the prize. The most important factors are the thoroughness and social importance of the chosen topic. The contact address: Gôbölyös József "Soma" Foundation, 1118 Budapest, Buadörsi út 4-18/C, or by e-mail: soma@portologic.hu. The deadline for entries for the first award is November 30 of this year.

BudapestSun
September, 13 2001

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