Good journalism is one of the hallmarks of civilised society. Brave journalism keeps freedom alive. Inquiring journalism is essential in a flourishing democracy. And thoughtful, open-minded journalism helps bind people of different outlooks together.
Stirring public debate, illuminating complex issues for readers through investigative journalism and holding the institutions of power to account have always been at the core of quality journalism. They must be the cornerstones of a future society and a dynamic democracy.
The European Press Prize reflects these aspirations. They are the initiative not just of media companies in one country or one commercial situation. They come from one of the most powerful forms of media ownership, which must, at root, count quality and public service as part of its challenge.
Seven foundations, all with strong media connections, have come together to start these awards – open to entries from all 47 countries of Europe as defined by Council of Europe membership. Their aim is simple: to salute and encourage journalism of the highest quality wherever it can be found in our continent. If journalism matters, then excellence matters. We hope to make these awards symbols for journalists and their readers right across the continent – and to show that the role of journalism itself is vital in informing healthy societies and helping nation to speak fruitfully to nation.
The foundations involved from the beginning are:
• 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)
• The Politiken Foundation (Denmark)
• The Media Development Loan Fund (Czech Republic)
We believe that other foundations will join us as co-operation gathers momentum, and that we can play our part in defining the vital importance of fine reporting, shrewd analysis and outspoken comment.