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Published 2024-04-15

Bergens Tidende wins the SKUP Award – E24 gets diploma

Bergens Tidende was rewarded the SKUP award for the story of the police killing of mentally ill Morten Michelsen, at the 2024 SKUP conference.  

We had many people involved in this project, and they worked hard for a long time,” said Trond Olav Skrunes, editor-in-chief of Bergens Tidende.

The SKUP Award is the most prestigious prize Norwegian journalists can get for investigative journalism. It’s given out at the yearly SKUP conference by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism in Tønsberg.

After those closest to winning the main prize had received their SKUP diplomas, it became clear just before midnight on Saturday that Bergens Tidende (BT) was found to be the best among the 49 entries, for the project ”When the police kill: Three shots in Ibsens gate.”

 This is a big recognition of important and thorough journalism that also has concrete consequences,” says Trond Olav Skrunes, editor-in-chief of Bergens Tidende.

We also have to thank the parents of the murder victim, Morten Michelsen, who trusted us. Without their openness, this project wouldn’t have happened,” says Skrunes.

He explains that the project started with a single case of a police shooting in Bergen, but that BT eventually uncovered serious systemic failures in the investigation of such cases.

 These shortcomings will now be addressed, authorities promise. Journalism can lead to important changes in society. Today we at BT are proud,” says Skrunes.

Original methods

Behind the project are Rune Christophersen, Philipp Bock, Lasse Lambrechts, Per Lindberg, Anne E. Hovden, and Bendik Reed Årvik. The jury’s statement regarding the case of the police killing of mentally ill Morten Michelsen describes it as shocking and uncomfortable to read. 

 The investigative work is thorough, tactical, and clever. The methods used are original, creative, and inspiring. The sandwich paper trick proved to be the solution for the so-called controlled access. Flyers in four languages with QR codes directing tips straight to the newsroom were crucial for widening the sources. The effort put into calibrating sound and timing is complex and highly impressive. Additionally, the 3D visualization significantly contributes to clarifying the details within the bigger picture.”

 If you want to build a winning culture, you can’t just cultivate individuals. You have to cultivate a team. You have to make each other better,” says Lasse Lambrecht, data journalist at BT.

Team victory

E24’s uncovering of stock scandals in Norwegian politics was seen by many as a favorite to receive SKUP honors this year. It also ended with history’s first SKUP diploma for Schibsted’s investment in economic and business journalism in Norway.

 By asking the right questions – eventually in strong competition from the other major media houses – E24 uncovered one of Norwegian politics’ biggest scandals,” among other things, the jury’s reasoning states.

 This is the first time we win a diploma, but we have no intentions of it being the last. We are in a good development, and we plan to contribute with good and significant journalism for many years to come,” says E24 publisher Lars Håkon Grønning, referring to the award as a team victory that shows what lies within E24’s culture.

TV2, Adresseavisen, and Dagens Næringsliv also received their own SKUP diplomas.

 It is the third year in a row that one of Schibsted’s newsrooms wins the most prestigious award for investigative and critical journalism in Norway. It is insanely impressive and evidence that our journalism makes a big difference. And that it was BT that, according to the jury, was behind the best investigative project last year, ten years after they last received the main prize, is no coincidence,” says Siv Juvik Tveitnes, executive vice president for Schibsted’s news media and incoming CEO of Schibsted Media.

She is also greatly pleased with history’s first SKUP diploma to E24.

 E24 has had an impressive development in recent years, in many areas. This diploma is the final confirmation that they are also to be reckoned with in investigative journalism. With last year’s revelations fresh in mind, I think no one needs to wonder anymore what the country’s most important business newspaper is,” says Tveitnes.