The UK nominations for the EP Prize for Journalism have been selected and will now compete for the €5,000 prizes against entries from other EU Member States. The TV category winner was Simon Thomson for his programme 'Democracy in Action'; BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat won the radio nomination; in the internet category the UK winner was James Clive-Matthews for his EUtopia blog; and in the written press category, Daniel Trilling, for a feature in the New Statesman magazine on the European Parliament.
This is the third year of the European Parliament Prize for Journalism. Entries this year had to have been published or broadcast between May 2009 and March 2010. The overall winner in each of the four categories (TV, radio, internet, written press) has to have made an outstanding contribution to clarifying major issues at European level or have promoted a better understanding of EU institutions or policies. Altogether EU-wide there were some 371 applications.
The UK nomination for the TV section this year is Simon Thomson, for his BBC Education programme 'Democracy in Action'. The judging panel found the programme original and engaging. It raised serious issues in an accessible way and succeeded in being both educative and entertaining. It left its viewers to draw their own conclusions, as any such programme intended for schools should do.
BBC Radio 1's news programme Newsbeat won the nomination in the radio category. Dave Howard and Tom Bateman, from the Newsbeat team, took young listeners to Brussels to see how the EU works just before the European Parliament elections in June 2009.
With an audience of 9 million, Newsbeat was aiming to make the EU accessible to its mostly young listeners aged from 15-30. The UK judging panel welcomed the fact that Radio 1's news programme devoted so much time to a report on the EU and felt that such initiatives should be encouraged.
An article on the percentage of our laws originating in the EU got the UK nomination for the internet section. The judging panel found James Clive-Matthews' EUtopia blog overall very entertaining, but selected this entry for its attempt to clarify how the arguments used to make claims about the influence of EU legislation often take original quotes out of context. EUtopia does not draw any conclusions, but lays out the context for the various claims and counter-claims, as such helping to clarify what is often a contentious issue.
Daniel Trilling's feature article for the New Statesman magazine won the UK nomination for the written press category, beating off entries from national newspapers as well as local and specialist trade publications. He went to Strasbourg in July 2009 to observe the new intake of MEPs arriving for the first time after the European elections. His piece gave a fascinating insight into the informal meetings taking place in the Parliament's corridors as well as official meetings. The judging panel considered this article to be the best piece of journalism in the category.
The UK judging panel
There were three members of the UK judging panel, one from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, a former BBC European affairs presenter, and a freelance legal journalist.
All nominees will be invited to the award ceremony in Brussels in mid-October.