The European Press Prize is awarded in four different categories. Each award is for 10,000 euros, to be spent wherever possible on a personal project that may, in turn, enrich the practice of journalism. The judges are also empowered to award a special prize for particular excellence. The nominated works will be published on the website of the European Press Prize.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING AWARD – For discovering and revealing facts, exposing hidden news to the public.
Investigative reporting is one of journalism’s core duties. It means journalists – either alone or in teams – discovering and revealing facts that would otherwise remain hidden: stories of corruption or neglect in business, secret deals in politics and hidden crimes of war, from an international scale to that of one hospital or one person. Some winners have shown personal bravery in the face of power that wishes to silence them. Equally, international networks of data investigation have exposed some mighty scandals. Investigative journalism serves the public interest. It tells voters in democracies what they need to know. It is one definition of the purpose of journalism itself.
This year’s winner: Kirill and Katya: Love, offshores, and administrative resources. How marrying Putin’s daughter gave Kirill Shamalov a world of opportunity, by Roman Anin, Alesya Marohovskaya, Irina Dolinina, Dmitry Velikovsky, Roman Shleynov, Sonya Savina, Olesya Shmagun and Denis Dmitriev, published by IStories (Russia)
DISTINGUISHED REPORTING AWARD – For exceptional reporting, telling a story in the best possible way.
The worlds of investigation and brilliant description or narrative blend into each other. Great journalism can reveal and describe in a single article. But this is the category – in news, features, business and sport – where fine reportage belongs. Telling the story in the best possible way. It may be the work of a foreign correspondent chronicling war, terrorism or disaster. It may equally be perceptive reporting of events, trends or changes in politics, society or culture at home, explaining them to another. Or it may just capture events with an eloquence, originality, perception or power that live in the memory.
This year’s winner: Love in the time of plague, by Janusz Schwertner, published by Onet (Poland)
PUBLIC DISCOURSE AWARD – For a remarkable textual interpretation of the world we live in. (Formerly known as the Opinion Award)
This category is a celebration of reflection; awarding work that goes beyond the immediate job of reporting and analysing the news. It recognises the capacity of journalism to instigate debate, affect our thoughts and enrich the public discourse. Pieces entered in this category may range from thoughts about the state of the universe, identity, gender and our relationship to the natural world, to analyses of international political or economical developments. Entries in this category can be written by columnists and commentators, but also by historians, cultural activists, philosophers and artists – anyone who is trying to interpret society from their own perspective. The work can take any journalistic form in exploring the way we live today. The judges will look particularly for cogency, originality and arguments that have an impact on public life. They will ask the question: how does this work engage with the idea that there is a public – a public that needs to be stimulated and formed – and how does this piece fit into the public discourse?
This year’s winner: When Trianon hurts differently, by Iván Zsolt Nagy, published by HVG.hu (Hungary)
INNOVATION AWARD – For challenging the current boundaries of journalism by finding new ways to engage with audiences.
This category, shifting focus from year to year as new trends in journalism develop, salutes reporting, analysis and technical developments that seeks to break new ground online – or off. Entries should detail what’s new here and how it enlarges horizons. Why it works and how. Recent Innovation awards have honoured cross-border collaborations in data journalism, new and clever ways of using existing data, and the expansion of multi-media reporting to tell the whole story. Ideas that strengthen the financial base of quality journalism itself – or challenge the ways in which it is conducted – are also very welcome. If it’s new and potentially important, this is the category to try.
This year’s winner: Maldita.es’ WhatsApp Chatbot to thrive a fact-checking operation on disinformation, by Maldita.es (Spain)
SPECIAL AWARD – The judges award a special prize for excellent journalism to one striking entry which defies categories and disciplines.
Each year European Press Prize judges have the power to single out some area of special excellence in European journalism. Sometimes – as in 2015 – the judges may recognise particular achievements in international data journalism. Sometimes – as in 2016 – they recognised the weight and brilliance of much of the reporting of Europe’s migrant crisis. But, equally, they may choose to salute an individual journalist, a news team or an editor for memorable service to quality journalism. This decision is for the judges alone. No entry forms are required. But individual journalists are totally free to write to the European Press Prize director’s office suggesting suitable award recipients, and the judges will, of course, take such recommendations into account.
This year’s winner: Brutalised Minsk: how Belarusian police beat protesters by Maxim Litavrin, , published by Mediazona Belarus (Belarus)
NB: The preparatory committee and panel of judges retain the right to move submitted articles to any category they see fit.