How a Corruption Investigation Sparked Reform in Slovakia

The winners of the 2020 WJP Anthony Lewis Prize for Exceptional Rule of Law Journalism— Pavla Holcová, Arpád Soltész, and Eva Kubániová—personify the principle quoted by their outlet, "Even if you kill a journalist, you can never kill a story."


The trio were awarded the prize for their reporting on the murder of their friend and colleague, the 27 year-old journalist Ján Kuciak, and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. The investigation, as detailed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), revealed a system of rampant corruption in Slovakia—the details of which were being investigated by their colleague at the time of his death.

In the process of investigating the murder, the team assembled nearly 60 terabytes of data, including eyewitness testimony, CCTV footage, mobile phone data and more, ultimately building a library of evidence that they shared with other trusted journalists. 

As a result of the investigations and mounting public pressure, the former government of Robert Fico stepped down in 2018, a former general public prosecutor is currently being investigated, and 13 judges are charged with corruption and abuse of power.



Resources for Journalists Under Threat:


Committee to Protect Journalists:

Media Legal Defence Initiative:

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

Reporters Without Borders:

Freedom of the Press Foundation:

International Federation of Journalists:

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression: