The Anti-Corruption Fund announced the winners of the 2021 Red Line Journalism Against Corruption Awards

At a special ceremony on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December, the Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF) announced the winners of the 2021 Red Line Awards for  Journalism Against Corruption.

The jury of the awards was chaired by Bilyana Wegertseder, Director of the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Activities, and included the following other members: Assoc. Prof. Svetlana Bozhilova, Faculty of Journalism, Sofia University; Irina Nedeva, journalist for the Bulgarian National Radio and President of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria; Nikolay Stoyanov, journalist for the newspaper Capital and winner of the 2020 Red Line Award for Best Journalistic Investigation; and Stefan Krastev of ACF’s team. The jury considered 35 nominations of journalists in all categories of the competition.

Абонирайте се за бюлетина на АКФ, за да научавате за най-новите ни разследвания и анализи:

С натискане на бутона потвърждавате, че сте запознати с Политиката ни за поверителност

The jury presented six awards:

The Grand Award for a journalistic investigation was given to Mirolyuba Benatova, TB1, for her investigation on the depletion of the National Health Insurance Fund through fictitious hospitalizations in the Lozenetz Hospital. :

The Special Award for a journalistic investigation was given to Genka Shikerova, Svobodna Evropa, for her investigation on the systematic deforestation in Bulgaria and the interactions between local authorities and business companies:



The Award for upholding the rule of law was given to Boris Mitov, Svobodna Evropa, for his persistent efforts to uncover relationships of dependence within the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. One of the articles, for which Boris Mitov was nominated, can be read here:


The jury presented the Special Award for Bulgarian contribution to the global Pandora Papers investigation to the Bureau of Investigative Reporting and Data –

In 2021, the jury presented two Young Journalist Awards: Victoria Simeonova of Gospodari na Weba ( is honored for her investigation of the Global Market financial fraud, developed and presented in a language accessible to a wide audience.

Nikolay Marchenko, Bivol, received the other award for his article on the vicious practices of the Refugee Agency in relation to the Russian citizen Yevgeny Chupov, who sought asylum in Bulgaria.

The jury also made two special remarks:

  • To Damyana Veleva, Svobodna Evropa, for a well-researched and originally presented topic in her article “The Clouded Law: Hundreds of villages in Bulgaria don’t pay for water”:

To the Bulgarian National Radio team in Burgas for a series of talks on regional topics of high public importance:

This is the second time that the Anti-Corruption Fund presented the Red Line Awards, and the ACF team emphasizes that this is a long-term effort to promote the journalism against corruption in the country.

“Without the courage of journalists who relentlessly expose well-disguised violations and injustices, the fight against corruption would not be possible. This is the message of the awards, and we hope that they are a way to give due recognition to the key role of journalists for the detection and counteraction of corruption practices.

We hope that by shedding more light on their important work, the Red Line Awards also contribute to the protection of journalists, as those who strive to uncover the truth often attract many enemies. It should be known that they are not alone; they are supported by a large community of citizens who do not think that corruption is something normal,” said Boyko Stankushev, Director of the Anti-Corruption Fund.

The Red Line Journalism Against Corruption Awards are organized with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.



Link to the Stream of Red Line 2021: