Russian reporter, Alisa Kustikova, is the 2018 Young Journalist winner

Alisa Kustikova, an investigative reporter from Russia, has won the 2018 Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award.

The prize, part of the UK Foreign Press Association (FPA) Awards, was presented by Lord Chandos, chairman of the Thomson Foundation, at the event held at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel in London on 26th November, 2018.

Alisa was chosen from three finalists. The other two were Asad Pabani, a correspondent/producer from Pakistan and Yen Duong Do Bao, a freelance journalist and photographer from Vietnam, both of whom also attended the event.


Russian winner Alisa Kustikova with finalists Asad Pabani and Yen Duong Do Bao, Thomson Foundation chairman, Lord Tom Chandos (left) and host, Rory Bremner (right)

Alisa covered stories relevant to vulnerable citizens as well as exposing political violations.

Nigel Baker, chief executive, Thomson Foundation
"Investigative prowess"

The result followed the assessment of an initial entry list of more than 130 entries from 40 countries by the foundation and scrutiny of the final 12 by independent judges chosen by the FPA.

Alisa Kustikova’s first entry, Copper people, tells a story of the resistance of the citizens of Chelyabinsk against the construction of the Tominsky Ore Mining and Processing Plant (English translation available here).

Her next investigative report covers the violations that took place during elections in Russia (in English here). Her third highlights the activity of ‘SANA’, a loan company which has duped thousands of people in Petrozavodsk, who are now in deep debt (see English translation here).   




Nigel Baker, Chief Executive of the Thomson Foundation said: “All the finalists submitted powerful entries and showed great enterprise and initiative in pursuing their stories.

Alisa, operating in particularly difficult circumstances, showed particular investigative prowess and covered stories particularly relevant to vulnerable citizens as well as exposing political violations. This was brave, impactful reporting.”  



Impact on public debate

The award, in its sixth year, enabled journalists aged 30 and under from countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less than $20,000, to enter their work for scrutiny by the Foundation – the world’s longest-established international media development organisation – and then the FPA judges.

Each entrant for the award had to submit a portfolio of three published pieces of work, produced in the 12 months preceding the deadline for submissions. They could be in any format – print, audio, video, multimedia or a combination of all four.

The journalists who entered were also asked to submit a written statement of no more than 600 words giving a summary of the content of each story and any impact it had on the public debate in the country of publication.

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To find out more about the Young Journalist Award, visit our competition page.


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