Press release

EP Journalism Prize goes to German, Hungarian and Polish journalists

Information - 15-10-2009 - 17:09
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The European Parliament's annual journalism prize, for work that promotes better understanding of EU institutions or policies, was awarded by EP President Jerzy Buzek on Thursday. The prize (€5,000 in each category), went to Ines Possemeyer (written press, Germany), Szlankó Bálint (internet, Hungary), Zbigniew Plesner (radio, Poland) and Elke Sasser and Kristian Kähler (TV, Germany).

The jury, of three MEPs and six journalists, picked the winners from among over 65 national award winners, who were themselves selected from 266 entries.
"Without you, the journalists, we cannot improve the functioning of the EU, we cannot inform our citizens or keep them closer to the EU", said  EP President Jerzy Buzek presenting the prizes.
The winners
The written press prize went to the German journalist Ines Possemeyer for her article "How Europe is renewing itself". This was a  "perfectly written and an outstanding, carefully composed story about the integration of European countries into the EU and about how the enlarged Europe shapes the life of people", said EP President Buzek. Ms Possemeyer said she hoped that Europe's future would be based on stability and sustainability rather than relentless growth.
The internet prize went to Hungarian journalist Szlankó Bálint for his online article "Wily customers in Brussels honing their wits". "The article approaches the issue of lobbying in Europe in a unique and interesting way", said Mr Buzek. Mr Szlankó recalled his experiences working in Brussels and said he enjoyed covering the European Parliament.
In the radio category, the prize went to the Polish journalist Zbigniew Plesner for the programme "Third time lucky", which described the efforts of Szczecin shipyard workers to keep the shipyard open. Mr Plesner urged participants to listen to the EU's critics, as "they are telling us important things".
The TV journalism prize went to the German journalists Elke Sasser and Kristian Kähler for their programme "Who is afraid of Europe? How the EU came to Poland". This documentary followed the lives of three peasant families in Poland as it joined the EU and for four years thereafter. Receiving the prize on the winners' behalf, Producer Stefan Pannen said the documentary showed that "EU membership gives opportunities to everyone, but you have to take risks".
Debate on new media
The winners' speeches were followed by a panel discussion on "The role of new media: an opportunity for democratic participation?", moderated by EP Vice-President Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, with the participation of EP Vice-President  Silvana Koch-Mehrin, MEP Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE, DK), Letizia Gambini, a member of the European Youth Press network and Michael Stabenow, a journalist for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany).
REF.: 20091012IPR62344