Press release

EP Journalism Prize: Austrian, British, Danish, Finnish, German and Romanian winners

Youth - 17-10-2008 - 12:06
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For the first time, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering awarded the European Parliament Prize for Journalism to journalists who contributed significantly to the better understanding of major European issues. The winners represent, respectively, Denmark and the United Kingdom (TV), Finland (Internet), Germany and Austria (written press) and Romania (radio).

The European Parliament Prize for Journalism was awarded for the first time this year, in four categories: written press, TV, online and radio.  The award ceremony was held in the European Parliament's hemicycle on 17 October 2008, in Brussels.
Winners by category
Written press (two winners):
Kirsten WÖRNLE (GEOWissen, Germany), for her report "In the Babel of the new age", about the work of interpreters at the European Parliament, and
Wolfgang BÖHM (Die Presse, Austria), for his editorial "Between Schengen, fear and freedom", on the extension of the Schengen area to the new Member States.
Pete PAKARINEN (Verkkouutiset, Finland), for his online article "A thousand bucks for a hazardous sea voyage - Europe facing a wave of immigration", addressing the issue of illegal immigration in the EU.
TV (two winners):
Shirin WHEELER (BBC, United Kingdom), for her weekly EU politics programme "The record: Europe", and
Lars FELDBALLE PETERSEN (TV2, Denmark), for his television report "The battle against chemicals", about the coming into being of EU's regulation on chemicals, REACH.
Mircea Radu LIPOVAN and Andreea MANZAT (Radio Iaşi, Romania), for their radio programme "Stunned", about the preparation for and the consequences of the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy.
President Pöttering: EP for media pluralism
"One of the goals of this prize is to contribute to better communication between the EU and the European citizens," said EP President Hans-Gert PÖTTERING at the award ceremony. Journalists covering European politics inform the public about decisions that directly affect people's everyday life he added.
Mr Pöttering stressed that the EU needed "the critical eyes" of journalists and that for the European Parliament "the freedom of press, media pluralism and the independent reporting are of the utmost importance".  In this context, the President referred to the several journalists and journalist organisations that had won EP's human rights award, the Sakharov Prize. The President made reference to the fact that the EP Press Room in Brussels was named after the murdered Russian journalist, Anna POLITKOVSKAYA.
"The European Parliament will continue to firmly fight against all forms of repression and obstruction of journalists," said Hans-Gert Pöttering.
Ceremony and debate
For each category, winners were honoured with a prize of 5 000 euros. (In the case of more than one winner, this amount was split.)
Nearly 70 national winners, who were the candidates for the EU level prize, and around 200 young journalists from across Europe taking part in the European Youth Media Days attended both the ceremony and, thereafter, the panel discussion on the relations between EP and the media.
The Prize
The EP's Prize for Journalism is given to journalists who have made an "outstanding contribution to clarifying major issues at European level or have promoted a better understanding of the institutions or policy of the European Union".
Eligible contributions must have been published or disseminated between 1 May 2007 and 30 April 2008. During the summer, national winners were chosen by 27 national level juries formed by journalists.
The final winners were selected in Brussels by a jury composed of three Members of the European Parliament and journalists representing the press accredited to EU institutions.
All entries were evaluated according to the following criteria: "journalistic quality", "European relevance", and “contribution to the better understanding of EU and to the clarification of major European issues".
REF.: 20081016IPR39745