The EU's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination' prize for journalists has been awarded to a French article about gay football players, in a tie with a Danish article about women who convert to Islam.
The third prize went to a Portuguese article while the special Roma Award has been won by a Greek journalist. The award ceremony took place in Prague at the Kaiserstejnsky Palace on February 5, 2009.
At the ceremony, the European Commission honoured those journalists who, through their writing, help foster a better understanding of the benefits of diversity and who encourage readers to consider more closely issues of discrimination and inequality. This year, the Commission dedicated a Special Award to an article concentrating on Roma issues.
Pascale Krémer, journalist at Le Monde, won the joint first prize with her article “Homophobie et football: la leçon de Chooz” (Homophobia and football – The lesson of Chooz) on gay players in a local football team. It looks at how the lucrative marketing world of football helps perpetuate discrimination against gays and lesbians but also examines the positive measures taken by football leagues across Europe to combat it.
The other joint first prize went to Ole Hall, journalist at the Danish Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. His article “Danske muslimer udsat for chikane” (Danish Muslims are subject to harassment) reveals how Danish women who convert to Islam suddenly go from being a member of a majority to becoming a very visible minority in their home country. As such, they face the same prejudices and hostility from society as Muslims of foreign parentage.
Christiana Martins and Marisa Antunes won the third place with their article “Elite à prova de racismo” (Racism-proof elite) about successful Portuguese citizens from minority backgrounds who have broken through glass ceilings. It was published in the weekly Portuguese newspaper Expresso.
For the Special Roma award, Mika Kontourousi, journalist at the Eleftheros Tipos wrote the article “Η Γιουζγιάν σπάει τα σύνορα της φυλής της” (Yuzyan “breaks” the borders of her tribe). It describes the problems Roma women are confronted with when they try to move away from their traditional roles in society.
The prize-giving ceremony took place as part of a seminar on 'Media for Diversity', organised by the European Commission. The seminar presented the results of a pan-European study on good practices by and about the media in tackling discrimination and promoting diversity. It gathered more than 80 media professionals, equality bodies and NGOs from around Europe.
The winning entries to the journalist award scheme were selected from over 545 articles from all 27 Member States submitted between 1 January and 31 October 2008. The jury members underlined the high quality of the articles submitted. The four European winners will each receive a grant for a research trip to an EU country of their choice.