JEROEN ADRIAANSE / AIPS in LAUSANNE: In a ceremony attended by some of the highest-profile names in the sports industry, leading journalists were acclaimed at the first edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards at Lausanne’s Beau-Rivage Palace.

The ceremony also marked a moment of tragedy as Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, condemned the recent killing of Ghanaian investigative reporter Ahmed Hussein-Suale. Bach noted that “the IOC was very sad to hear of the loss of Hussein-Suale, being murdered for exercising his profession.”

After Bach had set the scene with his heartfelt opening remarks, which left the audience contemplating the cost of meaningful reporting, Anas Aremeyaw Anas received the ‘Investigative Reporting’ award for his report on football corruption in Ghana. He dedicated his success to the memory of the late Hussein-Suale and all who fight to uncover the truth.

Anas said: “I receive this award in honour of my colleague, Ahmed. I know he would have been here with me to receive this award if not for the unfortunate incident. But we will never surrender, because journalism is not a crime.”

Last year, in May, Hussein-Suale helped expose corruption in African football as a prominent member of Anas’ Tiger Eye Private Investigations team. The revelations led to the resignation of the head of Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, after he was filmed accepting bribes.

The awards ceremony as it was broadcast live via Facebook and also through Eurovision’s WorldFeed service in collaboration with AFP. More than 1000 broadcasters from around the world were able to pick up the signal as a total of 1273 submission from 119 countries were cut down to a final selection of 24 nominees

Igor Rabiner, who won an award for his column against Russia’s threat to boycott the 2018 Winter Olympics in the Writing – Best Column category, said: “I know my wife is watching so I would like to say ‘thank you’ to her but also to Sport-Express.

“I have been working at this daily newspaper for more than 25 years. It is a great privilege to turn my passion into my profession, but it also took a lot of courage to make this column a reality.”

The top three finalists of the Awards ceremony represent the pinnacle of sports reporting and modern-day journalism in a plethora of forms, whether writing, video, photography or audio. Besides prize money for each winner – $8.000 for the winner, $3.000 for the second place and $2.000 for finishing third – they were each handed a trophy too.

The winners

Vincent Riemersma, Skating Shadows, PZC (Netherlands) – Photography – Sport Action.

Adam Pretty, Budapest World Swimming Championships, Getty Images (Germany) – Photography – Portfolio.

Igor Rabiner, The Athletes or the Slaves? Rabiner Against of Boycotting Olympics, Sport-Express (Russia) – Writing – Best Column.

José Ignacio Pérez Hernández, “Yo jugué al fútbol en Auschwitz” (“I played football in Auschwitz”), MARCA (Spain) – Writing – Best Colour Piece

Emanuela Audisio, 1968 – Sport & Revolution, 3D Produzioni (Italy) – Video – Documentary.

Diego Hurtado De Mendoza / Greg Groggel / Peter Berg, The People’s Fighters: Teofilo Stevenson and the Legend of Cuban Boxing, Olympic Channel (Spain) – Video – Athlete Profile.

Pirmin Styrnol / Jürgen Schmidt / Horst Eckel – Für immer ein Held von Bern (Horst Eckel – Forever a hero of Bern), SWR2 (Germany) – Audio.

Yin Ma – Exclusive! A Wechat log between two legendary women, Lang Ping and Li Yan, highlighting their resilience, We Love Volley (China) –  Journalistic Weblog.