Opinion/ Comment

The best European journalism: The European Press Prize announces its winners.

The European Press Prize announces the winners and runners-up of its 2022 edition. This award ceremony is an important milestone, as it marks the 10th anniversary of the birth of the Prize. Also present at the event, as a speaker, was the Ukrainian journalist Olga Rudenko, editor-in-chief at the Kyiv Independent.

A collection of stories to make sense of our times

This year’s stories tackle topics that are crucial for our cultural space, and for Europe’s economical and democratic systems: the financialization of the housing market; the police response to human trafficking; the gender bias in the field of medicine; the personal struggle of a victim of torture facing his perpetrator; and the collapse of overarching narratives that helped make sense of the reality around us.

Cities for Rent: Investigating corporate landlords across Europe, winner of the Innovation Award, explores the intricate world of corporate housing, dissecting the financialization system that turned housing into one of the most profitable markets – at the expense of the citizens.

The investigation is closed, winner of the Investigative Reporting Award, exposes serious, widespread irregularities and misconduct in how the Finnish police deal with human trafficking cases.

The Distinguished Reporting Award went instead to What Guantánamo made of them, the moving story of a victim of torture in the American prison of Guantánamo, Mohamedou, facing his torturer to seek closure and to find answers to his many questions.

The Public Discourse Award, previously the Opinion Award, was given to Memory in the age of impunity, a compelling piece that explores why certain stories fail to capture our attention. The collapse of connected storylines calls for a rethinking of what binds us, from Belarus to the Philippines.

Last but not least, the Special Award was assigned by the Panel of Judges to Woman’s body, man’s medicine, which investigates the reasons for the lack of knowledge on women’s bodies, connecting it to gender inequality in medical research.

Ten years supporting and celebrating journalism

The European Press Prize was born ten years ago, in Amsterdam, thanks to the commitment of seven independent European foundations, with the goal of celebrating, supporting, and protecting journalism.

In the last ten years, the Prize has collected almost 6,000 entries and awarded projects and journalists that, with their stories, helped us understand the Europe we live in, contributing to strengthening its democratic values, and sometimes managed to reach beyond the EU’s borders.

“Our aspiration was to raise awareness on quality journalism. When I look back at the impressive list of laureates and prize winners over the last 10 years, I think we’re on the right track. The work will continue. More than ever, we need quality journalism as a counterweight to disinformation, lies, fake news, and ignorance.”

Lars Munch, Board Member of the Prize and Chairman of the Politiken-Foundation

“We set up the European Press Prize ten years ago in De Balie, in Amsterdam, to shed light on the amazingly diverse, brave, important, and well-produced journalism that flourishes in every corner of our continent. We hoped that by honoring it, good quality journalism becomes more appreciated, and widely consumed. Journalism is vital for the survival of democracy and the rule of law.”

Yoeri Albrecht, Board Member of the Prize and Director of De Balie

A special speaker: Olga Rudenko

Present at the event as a speaker and as a guest, was Olga Rudenko, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian newspaper The Kyiv Independent.

Rudenko spoke at length, together with Clara Jiménez Cruz, CEO and co-founder of Maldita.es, about the importance and direction of journalism during these uncertain times.

Announced live, from Madrid

As of habit, the location of the Prize award ceremony rotates between different European capitals and, for this year, the choice fell on Madrid.

This ceremony has special significance because it marks the tenth anniversary of the Prize, but also because it represents a return to normality, after two years during which the coronavirus pandemic complicated the organization of this event.

Journalists, activists, judges, and the Laureates of the Prize gathered at La Casa Encendida for an evening made not only of awards but also of conversations on important topics that touch the journalistic world. One above all, the Ukraine invasion and subsequent war.

“Being part of the prize from the beginning, it has been one of the great joys of my life to be in the room with the best minds and hearts in European journalism, assessing stories from different perspectives – reading all those carefully chosen words. 10 years, 6000 articles submitted, 4000 words each on average. That’s 24 million words of quality journalism. Can you imagine the impact these words must have had on our Europe?”

Thomas van Neerbos, European Press Prize Director