Journalism for development: Lorenzo Natali Media Prize winners announced at European Development Days

Journalism for development: Lorenzo Natali Media Prize winners announced at European Development Days


The European Commission announces today the winners of the EU's Grand Prize for development journalism, the Lorenzo Natali Prize. The awards are presented at the European Development Days that focus on 'Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest'.

At this occasion, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "The journalists who we have the honour of awarding with the Lorenzo Natali Prize today, go above and beyond in their work, to bring us closer to the stories that deserve to be told, and the solutions, which deserve to be shared. They open our eyes to the struggles of others, including numerous women and girls around the globe, and ensure that they do not go ignored. Their impressive work helps us to create a better world for all!"

The Grand Prize winners, selected from among the seven regional and thematic winners, are Verena Töpper and Maria Feck from Der Spiegel. Their multimedia piece sheds light on a widespread problem in Kenya. There, every year, girls miss over a third of their high-school education due to their period. The main problem in Kenya is the prohibitive price of sanitary products, while in other parts of the world teenage girls’ schooling and future work prospects are hampered by limited access to toilets or cultural stigmas.


The seven regional and thematic winners are:


  • Junior: Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman (GHOneTV, Ghana), for writing about the water crisis in Ghana

Arab world and the Middle East

  • Senior: Andrew Mambondiyani (Al Jazeera), with a piece on why Beira, Mozambique' second largest, city is sinking

Asia and the Pacific

  • Junior: Parth Nikhil (Pari, India) with a story on the appalling conditions of sugarcane workers in India
  • Senior: Chitrangada Choudhury (The Hindu), writing on indigenous peoples' agro-ecological knowledge


  • Junior: Ahmer Khan (Radio France International), with a piece on an improvised school under a metro bridge in New Delhi
  • Senior (and Grand Prize winners): Verena Töpper and Maria Feck (der Spiegel), with "blood sisters"


Thematic prize: elimination of violence against women and girls

  • Achille Fatondji (Radio Benin), with a story on female genital mutilation in Benin


The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is awarded for journalism which advances democracy and sustainable development, as defined in the European Consensus on Development. The main aim of the EU development efforts is to eradicate poverty in the world by integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, while underlining the links with other policies, such as peace and security, the environment or climate change. Gender equality and women's empowerment is one of the key drivers of sustainable development, and therefore mainstreamed throughout all EU external action, including development cooperation.   

Members of the Grand Jury

The selection was carried out by a "Grand Jury" composed of renowned journalists from across the world and a representative from UN Women. This year's jury members were:

  • Bruce Shapiro, from the Columbia School of Journalism
  • Rana Sabbagh, Executive Director of "Arab reporters for investigative journalism"
  • Mary Harper, the BBC World Service's Africa Editor
  • Mahendra Ved, New Delhi-based journalist and President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association
  • Isabel Recavarren, Peruvian reporter and founder of "Panorámica Lationamericana"
  • Maroun Labaki, President of the Press club Brussels Europe and longstanding "Le Soir" editor.


Established in 1992, this media prize is awarded in memory of Lorenzo Natali, who served as a Vice-President and a Member of the European Commission for 12 years. He was responsible, among other things, for the international cooperation and development affairs portfolio between 1985 and 1989. He was a staunch defender of the freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development.

For more information

The winners and their work

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize website

European Development Days website