Journalism collective Bellingcat wins Dutch public communication award

The Machiavelli prize for 2019 has been awarded to journalism collective Bellingcat, the Machiavelli Foundation announced on Tuesday. The Machiavelli prize is annually awarded to a person or organization that achieved something remarkable in the field of public communication, NU.nl reports.

Bellingcat is a citizen investigative journalism platform founded by British blogger Eliot Higgins. Bellingcat investigates international conflicts, also using online resources like social media, and became known for its news coverage of the Syrian civil war, the war in Eastern Ukraine, and the MH17 disaster.

The Machiavelli prize jury praised Bellingcat for its innovative method of investigative journalism. "Bellingcat has provided in-depth investigative journalism with a strong quality boost in an era where we see more and more fake news. This innovation is a prime example for both traditional media and for journalists in training", the jury said. 

The prize will be awarded for the 31st time on February 12th in the Nieuwspoort press center in The Hague. Higgins will receive the prize himself, according to NU.nl. 

Last year the Machiavelli prize was awarded to "the threatened mayor", as an "indictment of this phenomenon that is eroding the roots of our democracy and is completely unacceptable", the jury said. 

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