Best Story: Migration and the Refugee Crisis in the EU

We have our winners!

We at HackPack would like to congratulate Malia Politzer and Emily Kassie, as well as Martin Gommel and Esther Gobel on being selected by their peers for “Best Story: Migration and the Refugee Crisis in the EUorganized through the Octorank platform.

Image for post
Image for post

For the English-language competition, Malia Politzer and Emily Kassie published an all-encompassing piece on the money earned from migrant suffering. They trace the route smugglers use to move Africans through Niger to Sicily and into Europe. The second half of their piece delves into the difficulties for Syrians migrating into Turkey, and the economics of integrating them in Germany. It is a mesmerizingly beautiful multimedia story called The 21st Century Gold Rush: How the refugee crisis is changing the world economy”

We couldn’t recommend it more, but don’t take our word for it. Here are some of the reviews from the competition:


Use of the medium:

Quality of craft:



For the German-language competition, Martin Gommel and Esther Gobel, developed a series of articles called “Die Neuen Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”. Martin and Esther had the original idea to record their search for what the government has estimated as 9,000 underage unaccompanied refugees in Germany. They report their journey through Berlin’s parks and the personal stories of the refugees they find in a “colourful, emotional and enthralling” piece.

Reviewers discussed the controversial, personal storytelling approach of the authors — unconventional for the german media landscape and typical for the magazine “Krautreporter”. We highly recommend reading our German winner’s series of publications as it is a significant contribution to the public discourse on the topic.

Competition reviews:

Publication 1

Publication 2

Publication 3

HackPack, S&S Media and Octorank will award the winners 500 euros in recognition of their work to keep the public informed on this crucial subject. They will also receive promotion for future stories from HackPack through interviews and connections to its community of editors.


The winners were selected by their peers using the Octorank platform. Forty participants evaluated each other’s work based upon four criteria: Quality of craft, Originality, Significance and Creative use of the medium. The Octorank algorithm ensured in-depth evaluations by focusing more evaluators on the top articles, increasing the weight of reviews from experts and diminishing the influence of uneven evaluation practices.

Special Recognition

We would also like to give special recognition to the overall 2nd and 3rd place stories. Both pieces are powerful pieces of journalism, shining light on a story that has been largely misconstrued, and present the deeply human element of the refugee crisis.

Overall 2nd

What Really Happened in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, and Why Were Refugees Blamed?

By Yermi Brenner & Katrin Ohlendorf

Overall 3rd

In Transit: Syrian Refugees Moored in Hamburg

By Kat Lonsdorf, Sarah Apel, Arthur Kropanev & Philipp Meuser


HackPack is a global network, helping media outlets and companies find, hire and manage journalists, photographers and videographers. The platform stands at +7500 media professionals in 140 countries, and works with publications such as Al Jazeera, BBC and NPR.

Octorank is a new awards platform that uses peer rating, data analysis and algorithms to guarantee speed and high quality for evaluating awards.

Software & Support Media is an international publishing house with a focus on the IT sector. The company’s information and service offer is tailored to IT professionals of all important technology markets.

Written by

The global network for the media industry. Helping publications and companies find, hire and manage journalists, photographers and videographers.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store