Center for Investigative Reporting (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Center for Investigative Reporting is a non-profit investigative center that writes about problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina especially corruption and organized crime. It is based in Sarajevo but covers much of the Balkan region. Its stories appear in local media including Oslobođenje, Vecernji list, EuroBlic, Dnevni Avaz, Start Magazin, and other publications. It also operates an online publication called "Izvor" or The Source and distributes an English language newsletter.
CIN was formed in 2004 under a grant by USAID and is funded by various government and non-profit sources as well as some commercial revenues. CIN stories use international standards for investigative reporting and it tries to avoid unnamed sources and other practices common in regional media. CIN stories are rigorously fact checked.
Its staff of 10 reporters have reported on corrupt energy traders, prime ministers who get almost free apartments, stolen privatizations, cigarette and drug smugglers, diploma mill universities and other corrupt practices. CIN's work has led to arrests, firings, investigations and even jailings.
One of CIN's better known stories looked at how then BiH Federation Prime Minister Nedžad Branković got an almost free apartment. CIN detailed each step of the process with records showing how the Prime Minister selected the apartment, the government bought it, moved it into an inventory of excess apartments and then allowed the Prime Minister to privatize it for nearly worthless privatization script—all in the matter of a few weeks. CIN's work, which involved finding a second sources of documents that had been removed from the official records, led to two investigations of Brankovic and then an indictment by cantonal prosecutors. A citizens group plastered the town with graffiti and later billboards protesting Brankovic's windfall. He resigned in June 2009 after he lost power in his own political party.
The center also was a founding member of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a regional consortium of investigative centers, journalists and news organizations who report on transnational organized crime.
CIN has won a number of awards including the 2007 Online Journalism Award for investigative reporting at a small website for its work on food safety. In 2007 it also won the BiH Transparency International award for journalism integrity. It won the Media Plaque for Excellence in Reporting in the 2007 Vecernji list awards.
CIN and its OCCRP partners along with SCOOP won the first Global Shining Light Award in 2006 for reporting under duress for its stories on energy traders. CIN, along with its partners in Romania, Bulgaria and Albania showed that while energy traders were getting sweetheart deals from the government and making tens of millions of dollars and adding very little to the economy, pensioners and the working poor were barely able to pay their energy bills and were often living in darkness. In 2009, CIN was part of a team led by the International Consortium of Investigative Reporters that won both the Overseas Press Club Award and the Tom Renner Award for crime reporting from Investigative Reporters and Editors for their work on tobacco smuggling.
CIN and its partner CIN Serbia won the award "Best Investigative Story of the Year 2011" by Serbia’s Organization of Independent Journalists in conjunction with the US Embassy in Serbia. Reporters won the award for a five part series on accused money launderer Zoran Copic, who holds both Serbian and Bosnian citizenship.
In October 2013 CIN also won “CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2013” in the section “Professional Journalists” for a story “Balkan Share Traders Endangered German Stock Exchange” which exposed a telemarketing fraud targeting the European Union's (EU) citizens. Workers from call centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina dialed the EU residents offering them shares of worthless companies while promising easy riches.