European Press Prize 2024: Winners expose migration dangers, impunity of oil companies and more

European Press Prize 2024: Winners expose migration dangers, impunity of oil companies and more

The award ceremony for the European Press Prize 2024 was held in Prague on June 6. Spread across five categories and one special award, the works of this year’s winners exposed the influence of lobby groups in EU legislation negotiations, focused on migration issues, and shed light on a range of other subjects surrounding the impact of European policies and their effects on people.

The award, co-founded by MDIF in 2012, was started with the aim to support excellence in journalism and uphold its values in and around Europe. MDIF partnered with the European Press Prize to co-organize this year’s award ceremony, held at the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP) in Prague last Thursday.

“Journalists are under attack, but we can still write history” – This statement, part of the keynote speech delivered by Beata Balogova, the editor-in-chief of SME, a prominent daily and news site in Slovakia published by Petit Press (an MDIF client), set the tone for the night that saw the congregation of some of the best journalists from across Europe under one roof.

Passing through a rigorous selection process, close to 800 works of journalism across the continent were first screened by a Preparatory Committee consisting of 21 journalists. The result, a shortlist, was then assessed by a panel of distinguished judges, giving us the winners and runners-up across six categories: Distinguished Reporting, Innovation, Investigative Reporting, Public Discourse, Migration Journalism and a Special Award.

Talking about the quality of this year’s entries, Alan Rusbridger, Chair of the Panel of Judges for the European Press Prize said, “This is what hope looks like. We have become so used to a narrative of gloom about the future of the news business that it’s easy to despair. But no one reading the entries to the European Press Prize could be anything but elated. Here are brilliant journalists finding things out; behaving with bravery and ingenuity; shining a bright light on the powerful and the corrupt. This is journalism at its best – and the judges felt privileged to be involved. Democracies depend on great journalism. We can be reassured it is still flourishing.”

Below is the full list of winners and runners-up for European Press Prize 2024:

Distinguished Reporting Award

Winner: Kazakhstan-Xinjiang, the Border of Tears, by Léa Polverini, Robin Tutenges, published by (France).

Runner up: We Still Live: What Is Life Like in Russian-Occupied Mariupol? by Hessel von Piekartz, Erik Verwiel, Titus Knegtel, Joris Heijkant, published by De Volkskrant (the Netherlands).

Runner-up: Where the World Splits Apart, by Henning Sussebach, published by Die Zeit (Germany)

Innovation Award:

Given in collaboration with the European Data Journalism Network, the Innovation Award focuses on work that uses Data Journalism in innovative ways, either in the journalistic process or in the final publication.

Winner: Lapdogs of War: A Guide to Russia’s Wartime Oligarchs, by Vitaly Soldatskikh, Ekaterina Reznikova, Roman Badanin, Katya Arenina, Boris Dubakh, published by Proekt (Russia)

Runner up: The Sound of Bullets: The Killing of Colombian Journalist Abelardo Liz, by Carlos Gonzales, Natalia Arena Chaves, Tania Tapia Jáuregui, Diego Forero, published by Bellingcat (International), Cerosetenta (Colombia)

Investigative Reporting Award:

Winner: Iraq Without Water: The Cost of Oil to Italy, by Sara Manisera, Daniela Sala, published by Irpi Media (Italy), The Guardian (United Kingdom), Alternatives Economiques (France), Geographical Magazine (United Kingdom)

Runner-up: The EU Fight Against Child Pornography Stokes Fears of Widespread Online Surveillance, by Apostolis Fotiadis, Ludek Stavinoha, Giacomo Zandonini, published by Le Monde (France), Balkan Insight (Serbia), El Diario (Spain), Solomon (Greece), Die Zeit (Germany), De Groene Amsterdammer (the Netherlands), Netzpolitik (Germany), IrpiMedia (Italy), Domani (Italy)

Migration Journalism Award:

Winner: How Europe Outsourced Border Enforcement to Africa, by Andrei Popoviciu, published by In These Times (international), Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting (United States)

Runner up: The Pylos Shipwreck, by Stavros Malichudis, Iliana Papangeli, Corina Petridi, Stefanos Levidis, Christina Varvia, Georgia Skartadou, Andreas Makas, Ebrahem Farooqui, Dimitra Andritsou, Peter Polack, Eyal Weizman, Jasper Humpert, Miriam Rainer, Salma Barakat, Zac Ioannidis, Elizabeth Breiner, Armin Ghassim, Sulaiman Tadmory, Timo Robben, Sebastian Heidelberger, Giorgos Christides, Katy Fallon, Lydia Emmanouilidou, Julian Busch, published by Forensis, STRG_F: ARD/Funk (Germany), The Guardian (United Kingdom), Solomon (Greece).

Public Discourse Award:

Winner: We Have Betrayed a Generation, by Nataša Markovič, published by (Slovenia), Media 24 (Slovenia)

Runner up: Migrants From “Culturally Distant Countries” Are Already Here, in Their Hundreds of Thousands. They Were Invited by the PiS Government, by Bartosz Józefiak, published by OKO.Press (Poland)

Special Award

Winner: The Border Graves Investigation, by Tina Xu, Gabriele Cruciata, Eoghan Gilmartin, Danai Maragoudaki, Barbara Matejčić, Leah Pattem, Gabriela Ramírez, Daphne Tolis, Rachel Oldroyd, Felicity Lawrence, Ashifa Kassam, Lorenzo Tondo, Manisha Ganguly, Pamela Duncan, Ben Heubl, Kristiana Ludwig, published by Unbias the News (international), The Guardian (United Kingdom), Solomon (Greece), Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany).

The winners in each category were awarded € 10,000.

Talking about the importance of this year’s ceremony, Majka Nemcova, MDIF’s Chief Operating Officer and Board member of the European Press Prize, said: “With press freedom deteriorating and being chipped away in many parts of this region, I am particularly pleased that this year’s ceremony is in Prague to celebrate the best journalism pieces from across Europe and to remind us of the essential role of independent, trustworthy media for democratic societies, contributing to governance, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

MDIF congratulates all the winners of this season and extends deep gratitude to all the publications that participated in the European Press Prize 2024. Your courage, passion and commitment to telling stories of human interest inspires us!