Source: Axel Springer in English
On Thursday, May 3, 2018, World Press Freedom Day, the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists will be awarded for the 27th time in Berlin. For the first time this year, an international special award will also be dedicated in recognition of the outstanding work of a young journalist or team of journalists from non-German-speaking countries: endowed with 5,000 euros, this award goes to the Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, who was murdered in February 2018, and will be accepted by Ján Kuciak’s sister Maria and colleagues of his editorial office, the news portal aktuality.sk.
Since 2015 Ján Kuciak had been an editor in the investigative team of aktuality.sk, which belongs to Ringier Axel Springer Slovakia. For his last article, the 27-year-old journalist was investigating allegations of fraudulent payments of EU funds as part of tax regulations between Slovakia and Italian citizens, who presumably have links with the mafia-organization ‘Ndrangheta’. On February 25, 2018 Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were found dead in their house in Slovakia. To continue Ján Kuciak’s research, Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, Axel Springer SE and Ringier AG have sent experienced investigative journalists to Bratislava, where they have set up an international newsroom.
Marc Thomas Spahl, Director of the Axel Springer Academy, which awards the prize said, “The Axel Springer Prize honors outstanding young journalists who are at the beginning of their careers. Ján Kuciak’s hopeful career ended before it really began. The perpetrators were enemies of freedom. Ján Kuciak’s award on World Press Freedom Day is also a sign that we must not allow ourselves to doubt our journalistic mission and we must not give in to barbaric violence”.
© Axel Springer SE
The other prize winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Berlin on May 3, 2018. The Axel Springer Prize is the most important award for young journalists in German-speaking countries and is presented with three main prizes in bronze, silver and gold as well as two excellence awards for investigative research and creative implementation. All editors-in-chief in Germany were invited to submit the best work of the year 2017 by trainee journalists, freelancers and editors who were not older than 33 years at the time of publication. The jury is made up of: Stefan Aust, Markus Grill, Dunja Hayali, Sabrina Hoffmann, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolf Lepenies, Moritz Müller-Wirth, Simone Panteleit, Niddal Salah-Eldin, together with the previous year’s prize-winner as a rotating jury member, this year the freelance TV journalist Tarek Khello.
About the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists:
The prize has been awarded by the Axel Springer publishing house and the heirs of the publishing house’s founder since 1991. It is awarded every year by the Axel Springer Academy around the date of Axel Springer’s birthday, which was May 2. For more information, see www.axel-springer-preis.de.