Theodor Wolff Prizes awarded: Freedom of the press needs free press – media – society

“Journalists don’t carry guns. They don’t attack the enemy. But they still try to be there to witness, to document.” What the author and President of Pen Ukraine, Andrei Kurkov, said at the presentation of the Theodor Wolff Prize on Wednesday in Berlin, described very precisely what this task, what constitutes this profession and what the prize of the Federal Association of Digital Publishers and Newspaper Publishers is awarded for. Kurkow first presented the special prize for freedom of the press to the Center for Freedom of the Press in Lviv – and to all journalists who left the press in danger of their lives Ukraine to report.

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The winners of 2022 were then honored. In the Opinion category, Ingo Meyer won for “The Fairy Tale of Gendersterntaler” (Berliner Zeitung), a text that convinced the jury because it sheds light on the gender issue without any polemics. Johannes Böhme had written the best report. His text “The other side of the medal” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Magazin) about five soldiers honored for personal bravery in the Afghanistan mission is “a contemporary document”. The jury awarded Judith von Plato the award in the category Best Local Play with “Gustavs last course” (Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung), which traces the path of an ox to the slaughterer without any self-pity.

Excellent portrait in the period

The best local digital project was delivered by Christine Badke, Veit Ellerbrock and the team with the “Flood Protocols” (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and Kölnische Rundschau). “From the moment, from the catastrophe, the editors reacted quickly” and then reported with videos about the devastation of the flood on the Ahr. The jury honored Caterina Lobenstein and Stephan Lebert with the theme of the year “Germany has a choice – how winners become losers and vice versa”. “The last of its kind” (Die Zeit) is an impressive portrait of the CDU politician Karl Josef Laumann.

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