Hamburg, 15 May 2012 –
Stefan Willeke (DIE ZEIT), Documentary reporting: A twelvememberteam from DER SPIEGEL magazine, Investigative reporting: Nikolaus Harbusch,Martin Heidemanns (BILD), Hans Leyendecker, Klaus Ott, Nicolas Richter(Süddeutsche Zeitung), Essay: Niklas Maak (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung),Photo reporting: Kai Löffelbein (stern.de)
The other winners of the award given out by the Gruner + Jahr publishing house and stern are the photographerF.C. Gundlach, who won the Lifetime achievement award, and the British journalist Nick Davies, who won theprize for special services to press freedom.
Hamburg, 11 May 2012
This evening, the publishing house Gruner + Jahr and stern presentedthe eighth Henri Nannen Prizes for excellence in German-language print and online journalism.A total of 22 winners were honoured at a ceremony at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg,with 1,200 prominent guests from the media, culture, political, and business community inattendance.
The Henri Nannen Prize 2012 was awarded to Stefan Willeke (Feature reportage), Kai Löffelbein(Photo reporting), Ferry Batzoglou, Manfred Ertel, Ullrich Fichtner, Hauke Goos, Ralf Hoppe,Thomas Hüetlin, Guido Mingels, Christian Reiermann, Cordt Schnibben, Christoph Schult,Thomas Schulz, Alexander Smoltczyk (Documentary reporting), Nikolaus Harbusch, MartinHeidemanns (Investigative reporting), Hans Leyendecker, Klaus Ott, Nicolas Richter (Investigativereporting), and Niklas Maak (Essay).
The photographer F.C. Gundlach was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award, while theBritish journalist Nick Davies won the prize for special services to press freedom.The Henri Nannen Prize for the best feature report went to Stefan Willeke of ZEIT. In choosingWilleke's work, the jury selected a very distinctive portrait from. Strictly speaking it was a portraitand a feature report – a crisp, sharp description, a road movie, the explanation of a person'snature and an account of a journey. The reporter Willeke accompanied with RWE Group headJürgen Grossmann on his trip to a post-nuclear-disaster Japan. He observed Grossmann's titanicstruggle against the impending phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany, and witnessed the transformationof the exceptionally powerful boss into a reluctant advocate of a nuclear opt-out.
Willeke "described Grossmann from the closest possible vantage point and with x-ray precision,but also with great literary skill," said the judges in their citation. The journalist was the right personin the right time at the right place, the panel wrote: ;ldquo;He turned his encounter into a masterfulwork of dramatic pacing and eloquence - a work we feel is the feature reportage of the year.;rdquo;
The award in the Documentary reporting category is given out for a particularly comprehensiveand clear presentation of complex facts. The jury felt the twelve-member SPIEGEL team hadachieved this most successfully, and were therefore worthy of the prize, for explaining an issue that can hardly be more incomprehensible and obscure: the developments that turned the eurointo the most dangerous currency in the world. The authors researched in many different placesand with many different people, dissecting the origins of the euro down to the last detail, andpresenting the result of their extensive research in a series of well-structured and polished articles,which together constitute a gripping, highly edifying dossier on the topic. Their work, argued thejudging panel, ;ldquo;is a great collective journalistic achievement that turns an important but unwieldyissue into an understandable, even enjoyable read.;rdquo;
Two criteria are essential to the evaluation of investigative work: the reporters' journalistic researchand the social impact of their investigative revelations.
Regarding the first point, the jury were able to agree fairly quickly that Hans Leyendecker, KlausOtt and Nicolas Richter of the Süddeutsche Zeitung achieved a special accomplishment. "Theystarted from scratch. There was no investigation by the public prosecutors, no suitcase stuffedwith documents, no whistleblowers. Only the suspicion that there was more to the scandal surroundingthe Bayerische Landesbank than was revealed by late 2010." The journalists began tosystematically probe the roles of suspect managers and their financial circumstances. They raninto a dubious but well-camouflaged network of companies in Austria and the strange privatefoundation of former bank board member Gerhard Gribkowsky. Halfway through the researchthe public prosecutors got involved. In the end, a veritable quagmire of corruption, extortion andbribery was exposed around Gribkowsky, Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula 1 circus. "Withoutthe months of persistent work by the SZ journalists probably none of this would have come tolight,;rdquo; said the jury. ;ldquo;A truly excellent investigative achievement."
But a second investigative achievement also played an important role in jury's deliberations:Nicolaus Harbusch and Martin Heidemann's expose in the BILD newspaper. They researchedthe story for nearly a year and were the first to reveal that the former German president had accepteda shady private loan in his prior role as the state premier of Lower Saxony – and hadfailed to tell parliament the full truth about it. What happened next is well known - the BILDreporters' revelation evolved into the biggest scandal of the past year and ultimately led to ChristianWulff's resignation. "A case of greatest possible fall from grace," the jury said.
So, on the one side, a truly excellent investigative achievement, and on the other a superlativeexample of social impact, both balancing each other out. For that reason, the jury decided toaward this year's Henri Nannen Prize for Investigative Reporting to both the three SüddeutscheZeitung editors and the two BILD editors.
Much has been written about the inhospitality of our cities – including a lot of nonsense. NiklasMaak, the award winner in the Essay category, sets us straight in his work. ;ldquo;His article is a wildand whimsical tirade against architectural essentialists and the simulation of urbanism; againstcityscapes that have replaced cities; and most of all against the supposedly inevitable supremacyof economy that has shaped the appearance of our modern cities,;rdquo; judged the panel. But the authorlooks further, into the suburbs, where he discerns the same wretchedness in another form,with "cheap plastered crates with peep holes", where "apricot-collared insulation plaster and plasticlattice windows" are considered ornamentation and the "turnkey lobbies" wield an absolutedominance. The jury citation said that Maak's polemic "is a brilliant essay alive with edgy ideasand dazzling style. It provokes the reader to look with new eyes at the architectural wastelandthat our cities and suburbs have become."
Kai Löffelbein won the award for best photo essay for a photo spread published by stern.de, "thatimpacts the heart and the brain." For example, one photo in the series shows black clouds ofsmoke rising over a burning field of rubble, next to the carcass of a car. In the foreground standsa young boy in a pair of flip-flops and a ragged football jersey. He is lifting an old TV set over hishead, about to smash it into pieces to get at the precious metals inside it. The judges' decisionreads: ;ldquo;It is a like a photo from a warzone. And indeed the photographer has documented a kindof war in this toxic waste dump at the heart of Ghana's capital: a battle for the poisonous remnantsof our Western wealth, a battle for survival, a battle that children and adolescents have tofight to keep from starving.;rdquo;
The jury said the photographer "has a keen eye for the spectacular, but also for significant detailsfrom this hellhole of exploitation. The pictures in his photo-reportage are superbly composed, ofthe highest quality, beautiful in the classical sense and very impressive, but they are also analyticaland political, and never succumb to the danger of over-aestheticisation. They open our eyes andinspire us."
Born in the Hessian town of Heinebach in 1926, the Lifetime Achievement award winner FranzChristian Gundlach cultivated his passion for photography from the tender age of 10. After ashort stint at the front, and time spent as a French POW, he returned home in 1946 and trainedto be a photographer in Kassel. He went on to work as a freelance photographer and as assistantto the fashion photographer Ingeborg Hoppe. He was soon doing fashion shoots all over theworld and publishing his work in major German magazines like Film and Frau, Brigitte, stern, Constanzeand Quick. In 1970, F.C. Gundlach opened PPS (Professional Photo Service), Germany'sfirst professional photo lab and rental studio for large-scale photo productions, in a former bunkerin Hamburg. By 1983, he had organised more than 100 exhibitions of noted photographersincluding Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst and Irving Penn at the PPS Gallery. Gundlach's ownwork was exhibited in such far-flung places as Beirut, Rotterdam and New York. In 2000 F.C.Gundlach – who since the beginning of the 1980s increasingly devoted himself to collectingworks of photography and designing exhibitions – established the F.C. Gundlach Foundation ;ldquo;topromote photography as an artistically and socially valuable cultural asset;rdquo;. A Founding Directorof the Haus der Fotografie (House of Photography) in Hamburg's Deichtorhallen, he served as itsArtistic Director from 2003 to 2005.
Nick Davies – recipient of this year's Henri Nannen Prize for Outstanding Commitment to PressFreedom – broke the News International phone-hacking scandal with his research, which is stillongoing. At times against opposition from fellow journalists, he reported on the illegal phonehacking and bribery methods used to get information by the Murdoch empire's News of the World.While between 2005 and 2007 it appeared as though mainly celebrities and politicians were beingphone hacked, in 2011 Davies' research showed that private individuals, including soldiers, widowsand the mailbox of a 13-year-old murder victim, were also hacked. Following public protestsand threatened boycotts by advertisers against News Corporation, Murdoch decided to close theNews of the World after 168 years of publication. The scandal has since spread to the British governmentand America, the headquarters of News Corporation. The newspaper scandal is the big gest in British post-war history has and triggered a worldwide debate about the morality andpower of the media.
Nick Davies was born Nicholas John Allen in 1953, the son of middle-class parents in the southof England. After a PPE degree at Oxford he began his career as a journalist for a regional paperin Devon. In 1976 Davies joined The Mirror Group as a trainee. In 1979 he became a reporterfor the Guardian and since 1989 he has written for it as a freelance journalist based in his hometownof Lewes, where he lives with his partner. Davies has three grown children.
Gruner + Jahr and stern established the Henri Nannen Prize to highlight the importance of discerningprint and online journalism while also preserving the memory of the work done by sternfounder Henri Nannen (1913-1996). The prize comes with a total purse of ;euro;35,000. Winners alsoreceive the 'Henri', a bronze bust of Henri Nannen created by the Berlin sculptor Rainer Fettingin memory of his lifetime achievement. A complex selection procedure and a top-notch jury consistingof experienced journalists, authors, editors-in-chief and publishers at great German publishinghouses guarantee the independence of the awards. Journalists submitted a total of 872works from 154 print and online publications for the 'Henris 2012'.
The main jury of the Henri Nannen Prize is comprised of: Peter-Matthias Gaede (editor-in-chiefGEO), Margot Klingsporn (owner of the FOCUS photo agency), Giovanni di Lorenzo (editor-inchief,DIE ZEIT), Helmut Markwort (publisher, Focus), Georg Mascolo (editor-in-chief, DERSPIEGEL), Nils Minkmar (head of Arts/Feuilleton desk, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Felix E.Müller (editor-in-chief NZZ am Sonntag), James Nachtwey (photographer), Thomas Osterkorn(editor-in-chief, stern, takes turns with his colleague Andreas Petzold), Jan-Eric Peters (editor-inchiefDIE WELT group), Ines Pohl (editor-in-chief, taz), Richard David Precht (author), UlrichReitz (editor-in-chief, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), Anja Reschke (author; presenter of the showPanorama) and Gerhard Steidl (publisher).
For more information on the Henri Nannen Prize:
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G+J Corporate Communications
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