The prize-winning entries in 2013 take an in-depth look at armed conflict and the impact of devastating floods in Colombia. The prize is presented by DW Akademie and the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla.
First prize goes to Edilma Prada for her multimedia presentation "CAUCA. Pulsos críticos del conflicto" ("Cauca: Critical impulses of conflict"). Featuring stories about the armed conflict between state forces, guerillas and paramilitaries, it sheds light on the nature of violence in Cauca, one of the most dangerous areas of southern Colombia.
Peter Burghardt, a correspondent for German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in Argentina and a member of the ¡Investiga! prize jury, praised Prada's "multifaceted approach" to the subject matter. Another jury member, Alberto Martinez of the Universidad del Norte, called Prada's work a reminder of "how important it is for journalists to dig beyond the surface and take a closer look."
The second place winner is Tatiana Velásquez for a multimedia project called "Sur del Atlántico: la espera por un mejor mañana sigue" ("Hope for a better tomorrow continues"), which focuses on the impact of floods that ravished huge parts of Colombia two years ago. Velásquez combines text and photo galleries to illustrate the ongoing plight of the people and the inadequate disaster relief provided by government agencies.
Encouraging cross-platform, investigative journalism
The ¡Investiga! competition gives special recognition to cross-platform journalism that distinguishes itself through exceptional research and an investigative approach. These aspects of reporting are not yet very widespread, says Ramón Garcia-Ziemsen, a DW Akademie project manager for Colombia and co-organizer of the contest. "Columbia still has a long way to go in terms of creative, well-researched, multi-platform journalism." But an investigative journalism award helps toward closing those gaps in the country's media landscape, he says.
More than 20 entries were submitted to this year's competition. The 2013 ¡Investiga! winner, Edilma Prada, will travel to Bonn, Germany, to attend the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. Last year's top contestant also won a trip to the international media congress, which takes place every year in June.