International Partnerships

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2021

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2021 #NataliPrize Winners

The European Commission unveiled on Thursday, 30 September the winners of the 2021 edition of the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize: Pari Saikia, in the category of Grand Prize for her work on the plight of the Rohingya; Maria Altimira, in the category of Europe Prize for her work on the labour exploitation of migrants, and Srishti Jaswal, in the category of Best Emerging Prize for bringing to light the hunger situation in India.


Grand Prize: 

Pari Saikia for "Rohingya Brides Thought They Were Fleeing Violence. Then They Met Their Grooms”, a story on the exploitation of Rohingya refugee women exposing the drivers and the methods used in trafficking women in the region published on Vice Media India.

Europe Prize: 

Maria Altimira Lazaro for “Abusos en los campos de fresas”  published in Diario Ara. A piece that shines a light on the labour and sexual abuse suffered by farm workers, and attempts to hold oversight agencies accountable for abuses happening on their watch.

Best Emerging Journalist Prize:

Srishti Jaswal, writing in Stories Asia, for “The Global Hunger Index Reveals India's Ignored Hunger Crisis”, an investigation reveals India's hidden hunger crisis and the under-reporting of deaths due to starvation.

In words of the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, who presented the Prizes to the winners at the Award Ceremony celebrated in a hybrid event on September 30

This year's Lorenzo Natali Media prize, recognizes three exceptional journalists, whose work exemplifies the courage, integrity and dedication to global equity. As development journalists you help bring about change – whether it is tackling inequalities, protecting universal human rights, or responding to the existential threat of climate change.

The winners were selected by a Grand Jury (more information on section below) from among more than 1,100 applications from across the world that underwent an initial pre-selection phase conducted by four prestigious journalism schools: Vesalius College in Brussels (Belgium), Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon (Portugal), Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (Spain) and Université Saint Joseph in Beirut (Lebanon).

Meet the 2021 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize Grand Jury

Diana Moukalled, Co-Founder & Managing Editor of

A Lebanese journalist and documentary producer/director with 28 years of experience in covering hot zones, her war coverage included Lebanon, Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Yemen (2015) and many more. Diana has more than 50 hours of documentaries that tackled socio-political issues in the region and around the world covering women issues, minorities, human interest stories and many other topics.

She started her career in 1993 as a general news reporter at Future TV covering news, political and social issues. In 1999 she started working on documentary series called ”Bil Ain Almujaradah” that covered hot political and social topics in conflict zones. The documentaries shed lights on issues that were rarely raised by Arab media especially issues related to women, minorities and democracy. In 2017, Diana along with 2 other founders, have launched;  an independent media platform addressing controversial issues that are underreported in the Arab region.

Diana Moukalled, co-founder & Managing Editor of
Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), West Africa’s biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression organisation since 2014, Sulemana Braimah is a 2019 Eisenhower Global Fellow, served for four years, as a programme officer at the MFWA, co-ordinating the organisation’s media development projects and journalism support initiates.

He previously worked for seven years as a journalist with one of Ghana’s leading private newpapers, The Chronicle, starting as a reporter and later as the news editor of the publication.  He served as an expert reviewer of the annual global press freedom ratings (Freedom of the Press Index) by the US-based Freedom House for two consecutive years. He has participated in and presented papers on journalism, media rights and freedom of expression issues at various national, regional and international conferences. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF); member of the Steering Committee of the African Network of Free Expression organisations (AFEX) and served on the 13-member Governing Council of IFEX, the global network of free expression organisations based in Toronto, Canada from 2011 to 2015.

Jana Ciglerová, US Correspondent at Denik N

Jana Ciglerová currently works as US Correspondent for Czech independent daily newspaper Denik N published both in Czech and Slovakia (Dennik N). Previously she worked for The Observer and also published with the Evening Standard.

She  studied journalism at Charles University in Prague and International Journalism at City University in London, and began her journalistic career as a media correspondent for the biggest Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes, then moved on to another Czech daily, Lidove noviny, where she worked as a UK correspondent from London. Upon her return to the Czech Republic from London, Jana became the editor in chief of the Czech version of Elle magazine and later launched a women’s weekly supplement at the biggest national newspaper MF Dnes. She then worked in MF Dnes as feature writer.

She is also very active in television where she produced a weekly documentary program and launched a women’s talk show. In 2009, she has received a prize for outstanding contribution to promoting women’s issues in the mainstream media. In 2019, she received internationally acclaimed journalistic prize Amerigo for her book about the US called The American Diary. Jana is a lecturer and speaker on women and media issues.

Jana Ciglerová, US Correspondent at Denik N
Zuliana Láinez, Vice-President of the International Federation Journalists.

Zuliana Láinez, Vice-President of the International Federation of Journalists

A trained journalist, Zuliana is Vice-President of the International Federation of Journalists and Secretary General of the National Association of Journalists in Peru. She currently works as Editor for the digital outlet Crónica Viva and previously was Chief News Correspondent for the Peruvian daily Liberación and producer at Radio Santa Rosa de Lima.

Zuliana is a Professor at the Journalism School of Universidad Jaime Bausate y Meza in Perú, and her research fields include freedom of expression and information, and safety and security of journalists.

Steve Sapienza, Senior Strategist and Editorial Team Leader at the Pulitzer Center

Steve Sapienza is a news and documentary producer with over 20 years’ experience and has covered a wide range of crisis stories, from illegal gold mining in Peru to child soldiers in Sierra Leone, climate refugees in Bangladesh, and land-mine survivors in Cambodia. His stories have been broadcast or published by outlets like the PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, The Financial Times, NPR, and Al Jazeera.

He currently works as a senior strategist for the Pulitzer Center where heis in close collaoration with with the Center's grantees, new media makers, and newsrooms to identify the collaborative space, digital tools, reporting strategies, and partnerships that enable storytellers to best reach their audience.

Steve Sapienza, Senior Strategist and Editorial Team Leader at the Pulitzer Center

The Prize at a glance

The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize was launched in 1992 to honour courage in journalism. It rewards the excellence of journalists reporting about the stories that matter on the topics of inequality, poverty eradication, sustainable development, environment, biodiversity, climate action, digital, jobs and employment, education and skills development, migration, healthcare, and peace, democracy and human rights. 

The #NataliPrize was created by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), and named after Lorenzo Natali, a precursor to the international partnerships approach to global challenges impacting society.

Today,  the #NataliPrize community of ground-breaking journalists working for a better world  has become a global platform to the stories giving a voice to those whose vital message is often overlooked. This community of trailblazers includes past #NataliPrize winners, past Grand Jury members as well as the strategic regional partners and ambassadors closely collaborating with the European Commission in the organization of the Prize. 

The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is open for applications

The Themes

Entries to this year’s competition should relate to the issues of:

  1. Inequality
  2. Poverty eradication
  3. Sustainable development
  4. Environment, biodiversity, climate action
  5. Digital (gap, connectivity, e-governance, entrepreneurship)
  6. Jobs and employment
  7. Education and skills development
  8. Migration
  9. Healthcare (access, assistance)
  10. Peace, democracy and human rights

Categories and Prize

Applicants must choose one of the three categories when filling in the online form. The Prize is open to journalists in the following three categories: 

  1. Grand Prize: reporting published by a media based in one of the European Union’s partner countries on development and cooperation. 
  2. Europe Prize: reporting published by a media based in the European Union (not including the United Kingdom). 
  3. Best Emerging Journalist Prize: open to journalists under 30 whose reporting was published by a media based in the European Union (not including the United Kingdom) or in one of its partner countries on development and cooperation. 

The full list of eligible countries can be found here.

There will be up to three winners. Each winner will receive €10,000. The winner of the Best Emerging Journalist category will also be offered a work experience opportunity with a media partner. Categories will not be awarded if quality is not met.

The #NataliPrize Community

Who is Lorenzo Natali?

Established 28 years ago by the European Commission, the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is awarded in memory of Lorenzo Natali, a former Commissioner for Development and staunch defender of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development. He served three terms as one of Italy’s European Commissioners.

Natali played an important role in the EU accession process of Greece, Spain and Portugal. He also helped enact key measures to combat pollution and improve living conditions across Europe. In his final four-year term as Commissioner, from 1985 until 1989, he was handed responsibility for cooperation and development policy in the Commission under President Jacques Delors. It was in this capacity that he set up a broad network of relations with the governments and leaders of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.