European Press Prizes recognise continent’s best journalism

Journalists from Russia, Turkey and Croatia were among those honoured by the European Press Prize at a special ceremony in London on 17 March.

The annual prize promotes the role of journalism in democracy and society by recognising the best journalism from across the 47 countries of Europe. The winners were selected by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Harold Evans, former Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Times – watch a video of the ceremony here.

Among the notable winners was Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar for his work trying to “build trust in journalism”. Mr Baydar was dismissed by the newspaper Sabah from his position as ombudsman in July 2013 after criticising the daily for censoring news on the Turkish protests. Sabah refused to publish two of his articles. In an op-ed in the New York Times, he called the Turkish media “shameful”.

The Investigative Reporting Award for the individual or team effort which has done most to unearth facts that the public – and society – has a right to know: Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Yeganeh Torbati, for “Assets of the Ayatollah”, published by Reuters, UK.

The Distinguished Writing Award, saluting the best reportage and feature writing illuminating vital issues at home and abroad: Sergey Khazov, for three pieces “Forbidden Islam”, “Vietnam town” and “A Man in Orange”, published by The New Times magazine, Russian Federation.

The Commentator Award for the commentator, columnist or editor whose work has made a decisive impact: Boris Dežulović, “Vukovar: a Life-Size Monument to the Dead City”, published by Globus, Croatia.

The Innovation Award for the idea – presentational, technical or in terms of editorial techniques – that has made a clear contribution to journalism’s future: Espen Sandli and Linn Kongsli Hillestad, “Null CTRL”, published by Dagbladet, Norway.

The Special Award, a special prize for particular excellence in editing or any other discipline, including reporting, feature-writing and advocacy: Yavuz Baydar for his work as ombudsman and his fight for a free press; and Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian (UK) and Wolfgang Buchner Editor-in-Chief of Der Spiegel (Germany) for their persistence and courage in publishing Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks.

MDIF co-founded the prize with The Foundation for Democracy and Media (The Netherlands), The Veronica Association (The Netherlands), The Guardian Foundation (United Kingdom), The Thomson Reuters Foundation (United Kingdom), The Jyllands-Posten Foundation (Denmark) and The Politiken Foundation (Denmark).

Photo: © European Union 2012 – European Parliament

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