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Two Irish journalists to compete for 2011 EP Journalism Prize

Two Irish journalists have been selected as the Irish nominees for this year's European Parliament Journalism Prize.  355 journalists submitted applications across the EU's 27 Member States and in October of this year, the prize, now in its fourth year, will be awarded to four journalists in the categories of print journalism, radio, TV and internet.  This year's Irish nominees are Jamie Smyth, Social Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times for his article on Ireland's sham marriage scam and Ellen Gunning of Dublin City FM, for her interview with European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn, as part of her series, The EU and You.  Both entries were chosen by the Irish jury because of the manner in which they promoted a better understanding of an EU issue, institution or policy area.

Ireland's nominee for the Radio prize - Ellen Gunning

The jury chose the radio programme submitted by Ellen Gunning of Dublin City FM, as it introduced a complex subject and succeeded in communicating the relevance of the work of European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn for the programme's audience.  The questions put by Ellen and the Commissioner's responses ensured the successful portrayal of the work of the European Commission in a policy area not immediately within our daily grasp.

Ireland's nominee for the Print prize - Jamie Smyth

Jamie's article entitled 'Ireland's sham marriage scam' is part of a series of articles written in cooperation with Latvian journalist Alexandra Jolinka.  The selected article was clearly placed in the context of the EU's directive on freedom of movement and examines the implications of the practical implementation of an EU law.  The jury believed that the article assists in the promotion of a better understanding of the EU and the challenges and complexities shared by its Member States.


Francis Jacobs, Head of the European Parliament Office in Ireland, said that 'the standard of journalism demonstrated by both of the Irish nominees this year is encouraging.  Both journalists ensure that their respective audiences emerge with a better understanding of an EU issue or policy area.'

The Award Ceremony
During a ceremony in Brussels in October of this year, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek MEP, will award €5000 to the overall winner in each category (TV, radio, print and online).  The winning entries will be chosen on the basis that they have made an outstanding contribution to creating a better understanding of the EU or a relevant issue.  

The Jury
Members of the Irish Jury included Tim Ryan of the Association of European Journalists in Ireland and freelance journalist Jessie Magee.

Read Jamie Smyth's article
Listen to Ellen Gunning's programme (scroll down to Week 7)

For further information, please contact:
Eimear Ní Bhroin, Press Officer, European Parliament Office in Ireland at / 086 8559423.