Fetisov Journalism Awards 2023

Third Prize

Category: Outstanding Investigative Reporting

Series: The Bitter Taste of Kiwis

Authors: Kusum Arora, Stefania Prandi, Francesca Cicculli, Charlotte Aagaard

Kusum Arora is an award-winning Punjab, India based journalist freelance journalist contributing for The Wire, Delhi. She is covering Punjab for The Wire. She has worked with Hindustan Times, The Tribune and Daily Post newspapers at Jalandhar, Punjab. Earlier she has also contributed for Asia Times and CNBC TV 18. Her expertise is Punjab centric issues like the vast Punjabi diaspora in Canada, US, UK, Middle East, the historic Farmers’ Protest against the three Farm Laws, which were repealed later, agrarian crisis, Sikh issues, human rights, social issues among others. Exploring migration issues, she received a grant from EU Journalism Fund in 2022 and won ‘The Italian Media Award – Tina Merlin’ for exposing the vast network of human trafficking from Punjab to Italy’s massive Kiwi Farms. She did Defence Correspondents Course conducted by the Ministry of Defence, Indian Government in 2010 and covered defence in The Tribune newspaper. She has also taught journalism to Master’s Degree students in Guru Nanak Dev University, Regional Centre, Jalandhar, Punjab.

Stefania Prandi is an award-winning journalist, writer and photographer who has written for National Geographic, BuzzFeed, Al Jazeera, El País, Il Sole 24 Ore, Correctiv, RSI (Radiotelevisione svizzera), Elle, among many others. Currently, she works as a freelancer. Among the topics she covers are labour rights, human trafficking, gender equality, social issues, and the environment. For national and international publications and Ngos, she reports from Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has written two books, Oro rosso (Red Gold), about women who suffer sexual harassment, coercion, and rape in Mediterranean greenhouses and fields, and Le conseguenze (The Consequences), about women who died of femicide and her relatives in Italy. Both published in Italy by Settenove. Grants and awards were given to her in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the United States. Among them are the National Geographic Emergency Journalism Fund Grant, the Henri Nannen Prize, the Otto Brenner Prize, and the Volkart Stiftung Grant.

The photographs she takes are displayed in museums, schools, universities, and libraries throughout Italy and Europe. She speaks at national and international festivals and events. She organizes and leads journalism workshops as well as teaches journalism courses.

Charlotte Aagaard is an award-winning war reporter who is writing for Denmarks largest investigative media Danwatch. At present, she is senior investigative reporter at Danwatch, Denmarks largest investigative media, which investigates business and human rights. She has a 30 year+ career as a foreign affairs correspondent, war reporter and editor at the Danish daily Information and has authored and coauthored a number of books, among them "Frontlinjer" about the Danish media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and "I Nationens Tjeneste" about the role of the Danish intelligence service in the Iraq war. In 2021 she was awarded the Anders Bording journalism award, in 2020 the Danish Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism ( FUJ), in  in 2012 she received the Journalist Fellowship at University of Southern Denmark and in 2003 Denmarks most prestigious award the Cavling prize. During her career she has also been nominated and shortlisted for a number of other awards, among them Amnesty Internationals Media Prize 2022.

Francesca Cicculli is an investigative journalist based in Rome. She has been working as a freelancer since 2017 and mainly covers the environment, energy issues, workers' rights and migration. She is the editorial director of Megabit-Cose da grandi, a narrative journalism project for young boys and girls. She received the Italian awards: "Meglio di un romanzo" for best narrative reporting and the Dov’è Tina Merlin oggi?" award for territorial investigative journalism.

Series: The Bitter Taste of Kiwis

The Wire

April 14th, 2023

Behind the Sweetness of Italy's Kiwi Fruit Lie the Trafficking and Exploration of Indian Workers

The original publication is available via the following link:


Driven by Desire to Work Abroad, Punjabi Youth Risk Everything- Even Death

The original publication is available via the following link:


Rampant and Unchecked, Punjab's Fake Travel Agencies Are Fronts of Human Trafficking

The original publication is available via the following link: