Press release

The Henri Nannen Prize 2011 goes to:

Hamburg, 05 May 2011 –

ortage/Feature: René; Pfister (DER SPIEGEL), Documentary: Ulrike Demmer, Markus Feldenkirchen, Ullrich Fichtner, Matthias Gebauer, John Goetz, Hauke Goos, Jochen-Martin Gutsch, Susanne Koelbl, Shoib Najafizada, Christoph Schwennicke, Holger Stark (DER SPIEGEL), Investigative: Christine Kröger (Weser-Kurier) Humor: Hans Zippert (Die WELT) Photo Feature: Stephan Vanfleteren (DU-ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR KULTUR) and Special Award: Susan Leinemann (ZEIT MAGAZIN)

The Gruner + Jahr publishing house and stern also presented a 2011 Henri Nannen Prize to Wolf Schneider for his lifetime achievement in publishing and journalism. The Press Freedom Award went to the French magazine Le Canard Enchainé;.

Hamburg, 6 May 2011
This evening Gruner + Jahr and stern magazine presented the seventh Henri Nannen Prize, which pays tribute to best work in German-language print and online journalism. The 18 winners were honored at a ceremony at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg attended by around 1,200 prominent guests from the media, culture, politics and business.

The Henri Nannen Prize 2011 was awarded to René Pfister (Reportage/Feature), Ulrike Demmer, Markus Feldenkirchen, Ullrich Fichtner, Matthias Gebauer, John Goetz, Hauke Goos, Jochen-Martin Gutsch, Susanne Koelbl, Shoib Najafizada, Christoph Schwennicke, Holger Stark (Documentary), Christine Kröger (Investigative), Hans Zippert (Humor), Stephan Vanfleteren (Photo Feature) and Susanne Leinemann (Special Award).

Wolf Schneider was honored by the Gruner + Jahr publishing house and stern for his lifetime achievement  in publishing and journalism. The Press Freedom Award went to the French magazine Le Canard Enchainé.

At a meeting on May 5, 2011 the main jury decided to award the prize for Best Reportage (Egon Erwin Kisch Award) to René Pfister for his portrait of Horst Seehofer in the article "At The Controls" (Am Stellpult ) for SPIEGEL. It showed him taking "boyish delight" in playing with his model railroad, "the Seehofer," said jury member Peter-Matthias Gaede. Pfister revealed the authoritarian methods of the Bavarian state prime minister and his political will to command in an entertaining yet very precise way. 

The jury awarded the Henri Nannen Prize for Best Investigative Achievement to Christine Kröger of the Weser-Kurier. Her work entitled "The Benefit Of The Doubt" (Im Zweifel für den Staatsanwalt) admirably goes to prove that the monitoring function of the press doesn't have to be limited to a country's major magazines, but that with perseverance, tenacity and courage this core task of journalism can also be performed by a regional newspaper.

The prize for Best Documentary went to a team of 11 writers at SPIEGEL magazine for their article "A German Crime" (Ein deutsches Verbrechen). The team used meticulous research to analyze the processes, procedures and responsibilities of the German armed forces who led the bombardment of hijacked tankers near Kunduz in Afghanistan that shifted the political co-ordinates of German with one blow. The journalists in this case fulfilled the monitoring function of the press as the "fourth estate" in an exemplary manner.

Hans Zippert won in "Outstanding Entertaining, Humorous Reporting" category for his article "Mich trifft der Schlag" ("Dumbstruck!"). Zippert's writing is characterized by the fact that you can always expect the unexpected. He reliably provides his readers with surprising punchlines. Even in the case of his own stroke, he has remained true to form and turned the fateful blow into a self-ironic showpiece.

Stephan Vanfleteren won the award for best photo reporting. In his photo feature "Es gibt was Neues hier seit gestern" (There's Something New Here Since Yesterday), published in the magazine Du - Zeitschrift für Kultur, he portrayed the artist Tomi Ungerer in his studio in Ireland. With just a few pictures the photographer told the great and splendid story of a long life. The camera sees into the artist's soul and captures the special atmosphere Ungerer lives and works in with precise and unadorned black and white photography.

The jury awarded Susanne Leinemann the Special Award for a personal story written for ZEIT MAGAZIN - she was the victim of a robbery, which she only narrowly survived. The jury praised Leinemann for succeeding in maintaining a professional distance and retelling the story of a vicious attack on herself in a cool, clear way, and also giving an illustrative example of the abysmal side of our society and a highly topical issue.

Wolf Schneider was born 1925 in Erfurt. After school and military service he began his career as a translator for the U.S. Army, followed by stints as news chief at the Associated Press newswire and U.S. correspondent for Süddeutsche Zeitung. Henri Nannen brought Schneider to stern in Hamburg in 1966 where he worked as managing editor and, from 1969, as manager of the publishing house. This was followed by a spell at Axel Springer Verlag, where his posts included editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper DIE WELT. In 1978, Schneider was appointed to head the newly formed Hamburg School of Journalism, which was later named after Henri Nannen. After 16 graduating classes, Schneider handed over management of the school to others in 1995.  Wolf Schneider is the author of numerous books, including several standard works of reference on the German language. In addition, for many years he presented the "NDR Talkshow" and set new standards in the dogged questioning of politicians. The 85-year-old still works as a writer and gives language seminars in Germany and abroad. 

"Wolf Schneider influenced a whole generation of journalists with his work," says stern Editor-in-Chief Andreas Petzold. "Many of his students are now among the leading figures of our media landscape. As a journalist and a doyen of the German language, Wolf Schneider deserves the Henri Nannen Prize." 

The Henri Nannen Prize 2011 for special services to freedom of the press has been awarded to the French newspaper Le Canard enchainé. The name of the weekly newspaper founded in 1915, which can be translated as "The Duck in Chains," is an expression of protest against government censorship. The newspaper, which is both investigative and satirical, is published weekly with a circulation of almost 700,000. An editorial team of 15 works at the head office in Paris, led by editors-in-chief Claude Angeli and Érik Emptaz.  Since its foundation, the "Canard" has been consistently following the line of an entirely independent reporting that is only obliged to the truth and its readers. The newspapers forgoes advertising revenue of any kind and has always resisted all advances from financial and advertising groups as well as political parties. In the course of its history it has participated in uncovering numerous scandals in France with many investigative researches and reports. Recently, for example, the French foreign minister Michèle Alliot-Marie was forced to resign after the Le Canard enchainé proved the minister's personal involvement with the Tunisian regime.

stern Editor-in-Chief Andreas Petzold said: "Canard's motto translates as 'The freedom of the press only wears out if it is not used.' The editors are committed to this motto and mercilessly expose political scandals and corruption in a country where the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution but reality sometimes looks quite different. The colleagues deserve recognition and respect for this, and we want to express it by awarding them the Henri Nannen Prize for the freedom of the press."  

By sponsoring the Henri Nannen Award, Gruner + Jahr and stern emphasize the importance of outstanding print and online journalism while commemorating the work of stern founder Henri Nannen (1913-1996). The award is endowed with a total of €35,000. In addition, the winners each receive a "Henri" – a bronze of Henri Nannen honoring his life's work, by the Berlin-based sculptor Rainer Fetting. An elaborate screening process and a prestigious jury of veteran journalists, authors, editors-in-chief and publishers from Germany's biggest publishers ensure the independence of the award. Journalists entered 791 works from 196 print and online publications for the "2011 Henri."

The main jury of the Henri Nannen Prize is comprised of: Anke Degenhard (photography expert and gallery owner), Peter-Matthias Gaede (Editor-in-Chief of GEO), Elke Heidenreich (journalist and author), Thomas Hoepker (photographer and longtime president of the photo agency Magnum), Kurt Kister (Editor-in-Chief of the Süddeutsche Zeitung), Giovanni di Lorenzo (Editor-in-Chief of Die Zeit), Helmut Markwort (Executive Publisher of Focus), Mathias Müller von Blumencron (Editor-in-Chief of Der Spiegel), who takes turns being a jury member every other year with his colleague Georg Mascolo, Jan-Eric Peters (Editor-in-Chief of Die Welt group), Andreas Petzold (Editor-in-Chief of stern, who will alternate each year with his colleague Thomas Osterkorn), Ines Pohl (Editor-in-Chief of taz), Ulrich Reitz (Editor-in-Chief of the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), Frank Schirrmacher (Executive Publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), and Gerhard Steidl (photo and art book publisher). 

Further information about the Henri Nannen Prize is available online at

Susanne Hacker
Henri Nannen Prize Communications
G+J Corporate Communications
Phone: +49 40 37 03 - 27 97