Today, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize: Dayu Zhang of the ‘South China Morning Post’, Cécile Schilis Gallego and Marion Guegan of ‘Forbidden Stories’ and Shola Lawal of ‘Equal Times’. For nearly three decades, the Prize has recognised quality journalism focused on compelling and compassionate reporting to bring sustainable development stories to light.
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize celebrates quality journalism focused on sustainable development. I was happy to see so many great professionals apply this year. This growing interest demonstrates the crucial role that journalism plays in building open, democratic societies. Shedding light on the stories you tell is how, together, we build a better world.”
The award ceremony, usually taking place at the European Development Days, will be organised later this year.
The 2020 Prize winners, that were selected by a Grand Jury from among more than 800 applications from 94 different countries, are:
“The ‘thin yellow line’ standing between Hong Kong police and protestors”
Dayu Zhang of the South China Morning Post
For his story on the 2019 Hong Kong protests from the perspective of a community group seeking to defuse tensions between protestors and police.
“Mines’ dirty secrets echo on three continents”
Cécile Schilis Gallego and Marion Guegan of Forbidden Stories
For their investigation on the hostile environment faced by journalists reporting on mining stories across the world.
Best Emerging Journalist Prize
“For African migrants trying, and dying, to reach North America, the Darién Gap is the ‘New Mediterranean’”
Shola Lawal of Equal Times
For her exposé on the dangerous conditions faced by ‘extra-continental migrants’ travelling from Africa to reach North America.
The winners were chosen by a Grand Jury of experts in the fields of journalism and development: Marites Danguilan Vitug (Rappler), Zaina Erhaim (Institute of War and Peace Reporting), Gillian Joseph (Sky News UK), Maria Latella (Radio 24, Il Messagero, Sky Italy) and Kingsley Okeke (African Leadership Magazine). All entries went through an initial pre-selection phase conducted by three schools of journalism: Vesalius College in Brussels, Universida de Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon, and the Université Saint Joseph in Beirut.
Established in 1992, the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is awarded in memory of Lorenzo Natali, a former Commissioner for Development and a staunch defender of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development. The prize rewards and celebrates excellence in reporting on sustainable development issues.
The Prize’s three categories in 2020 were:
- Grand Prize: for reporting published by a media outlet based in one of the European Union’s partner countries.
- Europe Prize: for reporting published by a media outlet based in the European Union.
- Best Emerging Journalist Prize: for reporting by journalists under the age of 30, published in a media outlet based in the European Union or in one of its partner countries.