Projects and news
European Press Prize 2012: 134 entries from 32 countries
In November 2011 seven foundations with close ties to the media, among which the Foundation for Democracy and Media, decided to establish the European Press Prize. Our aim is to stimulate quality journalism in Europe and thus to underline its importance for a vital and vibrant democracy. On October 26, after registration of entries for the first awards had closed, the Bureau of the European Press Prize had received 134 entries from 32 countries.
Competition for an award in one of the four categories - Editing, News Reporting, Commentator and Innovation - is open to all citizens of the 47 members of the Council of Europe, making it a uniqe and truly European endeavour. By this ambitious and inclusive approach, the founding fathers of the European Press Prize are making a clear statement: European countries are not only going through exceptionally troublesome times - be it economic hardship, political turmoil, or both - but are also becoming increasingly interconnected. This is when excellent journalism in all genres is needed to stimulate a true Europe-wide debate on the quintessential challenges the continent is facing. Quality journalism is incisive. It can reveal unexpected similarities between people and communities living in areas that are wide apart geographically. It may reveal uneasy truths or do away with misunderstandings or misconceptions. Moreover, by informing citizens and providing a platform for free expression of opinion, it is a vital element of a healthy constitutional democracy.
The Preparatory Committee of the European Press Prize Foundation will announce the shortlists in in four categories mid-December. The winners will be announced in the second half of January. Presentation of the awards will take place on February 26 in De Balie Debating Centre in Amsterdam.
Conference Power and Responsibility
On 4 November, 2011, the Foundation took the initiative to organize a conference on the role of journalism in a constitutional democracy, in cooperation with Debating Centre De Balie in Amsterdam. This conference, 'Power and Responsibility' was a considerable success. A report of the conference in English is available online or for download.
In order to realize the Foundation's aims, its administrative board can engage in all the activities which it deems appropriate. This includes, among others:
- support for institutions that organize debates or lectures;
- support for individuals, institutions or groups which contribute, for example, by means of publications, documentaries or exhibitions, to the promotion of the ideals of those who established the Foundation. These supportive activities are achieved by means of subsidies, loans and in some cases investments.
The enormous changes in the media which have come about as a result of digitization and the arrival of the internet – a development the end of which is not yet in sight – are forcing the Foundation to reconsider continuously the means by which a diverse media landscape and individual freedom of speech and thought can be protected. This means, in practical terms, that the Foundation has to direct its efforts to a broad set of activities. To this end, the Foundation is cooperating, at both the national and international levels, with other organizations which energetically support the same goals.
The international subsidy-supported activities are confined to Europe.