This year the shortlist featured 33 projects from 17 countries in five categories: The Investigative Reporting Award, The Distinguished Writing Award, The Commentator Award, The Innovation Award and a Special Award for writing about the Refugee Crisis.

The winners are a brave young French journalist exploring the truth in rape claims in East Congo; a brilliant multimedia journey with young Portuguese jihadists who lose their moral bearings; a magisterial analysis of our foreign relationships; a passionate revelation of the dark world inside a Polish psychiatric hospital for children; and heartbreakingly vivid reporting along Europe’s desperate migrant path. Together they form an impressive selection of modern European journalism. These articles were translated into English and shortened to fit in these 36 pages.

‘Journalism isn’t some optional extra to freedom in our world’, writes Peter Preston, chairman of the jury of the European Press Prize 2016 in the jury report. ‘It takes a step back as it monitors power: governments, politicians, giant corporations, and sinister organisations. It exists to be separate, different and free. Then it takes a step forward in defence of its readers, viewers and listeners. This journalism is a vital defence against oppression, and a vital defender of individual freedom.’

Here are the winning articles of the European Press Prize 2016: