The Panel of Judges of the European Press Prize 2012 has selected winners in four categories. In the first year of its existence, winning entries came from Denmark, Greece, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
NEWS REPORTING AWARD
In the News Reporting category, the Award was won by three reporters from Danish daily Jyllands Posten, Orla Borg, Carsten Ellegaard Christensen and Morten Pihl for their groundbreaking investigative reporting project on Morten Storm, a former agent of the Danish Secret Service.
In a series of articles, they exposed how Storm helped the CIA locate Al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who was subsequently killed by an American drone attack in Yemen. The story received wide coverage in the U.S. and Europe and fed a crucial debate on the role of European countries in the U.S. ‘war on terror.’ Simply, when is it right for states and their agents to kill?
In the Commentator category, the Award goes to Nikos Chrysoloras from Greece, for his article ‘Why Greece must remain in the Eurozone’, published in papers across Europe. Chrysoloras, the Brussels correspondent for the Greek daily Kathimerini, makes a passionate plea for his country to stay in the Eurozone. Analysing the supposed reasons for Greece’s current financial and economic woes, he denounces the call for a Greek exit by ‘pundits, the broadsheet press columnists and experts … who claim to know the remedy for a country which they have rarely, if ever, visited and who have no knowledge of its economic and social history’.
In the Editing category, the Award is won by Ihor Pochynok, Chief Editor of ‘Express’ a daily newspaper published in Lviv in the Ukraine. Express is a prime example of a local newspaper becoming the opinion leader of its region and assuming at times a national role. Unabashedly political, though not connected to any of the parties, Express went on the barricades during the Orange Revolution, but had no hesitation in criticising the incompetence and corruption of the Yushchenko-Timoshenko government which ensued. It has made enemies in all Ukrainian governments, frequently facing demands to assume a less critical stance – but nevertheless breaking investigative stories that shrug off such pressure.
In the Innovation category, the Award goes to Paul Lewis from the United Kingdom, Special Projects Editor of The Guardian in London, for his project ‘Reading the Riots’. Together with Professor Tim Newburn from the London School of Economics and 30 researchers, Lewis launched a year-long research study into the causes of the summer riots in England in 2011. He analysed the mechanisms which led to both the violence and its rapid spread from the capital to other major towns and cities in Britain. It seriously questioned many assumptions about the riots, from the role of social media to the involvement of criminal gangs. Combining investigative journalism and scientific methodology, Lewis developed a unique new approach to investigative journalism, which may prove to become a powerful weapon for other journalists attempting to uncover increasingly complex and sophisticated social developments.
The Press Release can be downloaded here.