Free Media Awards
The online media project Reform.by has been chosen to receive a Free Media Award for its reporting on Belarus under particularly difficult conditions.
The platform was first established in 2016 by editor-in-chief Fyodar Pauluchenka. In 2021, Reform.by was blocked by the Ministry of Information, a fate suffered by all independent Belarusian media providers, and the permanent editorial staff was driven out of the country. However, Reform.by has managed to stay in touch with its sources in Belarus, and has continued to work under extremely risky conditions. In addition to providing in-depth interviews, insightful commentaries and a diversity of voices, the platform stands out not least for its investigative journalism. During the 2021 situation along the Lithuanian and Polish borders prompted by Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, Reform.by was able to establish exactly where the refugees came from and how Belarusian institutions were involved. One important contribution by Reform.by is that it provides not only news coverage and investigative journalism, but also a platform for reflection on the development of Belarusian society in the wake of the 2020 protests. The project Pyataya Respublica, curated by Olha Shparaha, is an excellent example.
See interviews with FMA recipients 2023