„Courage-Prize" for print- and online journalists will be awarded for the first time in 2009. Announcement starts.

ESSEN / BRUSSELS / SOFIA, 06.11.2008. The WAZ Media Group and

the International Federation of Journalists (promote courageous journalism

with a new Prize. Both founders, who agreed in 2007 on a  „Framework Agreement to defend and promote

press freedom, quality journalism and good working conditions", presented the

award during the 2nd South East Europe Media Forum in Sofia. The „WAZ-IFJ Prize

for Courage in Journalism" rewards journalism, which has shown exemplary courage

and professionalism against intimidation and pressure in reporting corruption

and misuse of power.


IIn recent

times, in an

increasingly alarming way cases of intimidation, repression and violence

against press representatives occured in particular in South-Eastern Europe.

The WAZ Media Group and the IFJ share the view that courage is always the

precondition for efficient control of power through the media. The

competition for the "Courage-Prize", which is worth 10.000 €, is open


journalists from all countries of West, Central and South-Eastern Europe where

the WAZ Company operates (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany,

Hungary, Macedonia Romania and Serbia). Journalists -

from WAZ titles or other publications - from the print and online sectors can

apply with texts and editorial content.

The final


will be done by a jury including the Managing Directors of the WAZ Media Group,

Bodo Hombach and Christian Nienhaus, IFJ General Secretary Aidan White, Hans

Leyendecker, Editor-in-Chief of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" Paul-Josef

Raue, Editor-in Chief of the "Braunschweiger Zeitung", the former

Editor in Chief of the Hungarian financial newspaper HVG, Ivan Lipovecz, the

Serbian "Vreme"-journalist Dejan Anastasijevic and the Croatian

Journalism lecturer Gordana Vilovic. The Prize will be awared for the first

time on the 3rd South East Europe Media Forum.



The WAZ Media Group, based in Essen, is one of the largest

European media groups. It puplishes 33 daily and 18 weekly newspapers, 176

special-interest and trade magazines, 107 advertising papers and 400 customer

magazines. In Germany, the group publishes eleven daily newspapers in North Rhine

Westphalia, Thuringia, Lower Saxony and North Bavaria. The four NRW titles

‘Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung’ (WAZ), ‘Westfälische Rundschau’ (WR), ‘Neue

Ruhr / Neue Rhein Zeitung’ (NRZ) and ‘Westfalenpost’ (WP) have a circulation of

1 million. The advertising papers of WVW/ORA are market leaders in Germany and

Europe and have a weekly circulation of more than 5 million in NRW alone. The

WAZ Media Group, which has 18.000 employees, has majority holdings in ten local

radio broadcasting companies in North Rhine Westphalia and runs the largest

regional Internet portal, DerWesten.de, in Germany. In the TV market, the WAZ

Media Group has a holding in the German NRW.TV an the Albanian TV-Station

‘Vizion+’. In the magazine sector, the WAZ Group owns, among others, the

Munich-based publishing house ‘Gong Verlag’ (‘Gong’, ‘TV direkt’), the

newspaper publishing house ‘Westdeutscher Zeitschriften-Verlag’ (‘Neue Welt’,

‘Frau im Spiegel’) and numerous special interest magazines. Outside of Germany,

the WAZ Media Group is active in the Austrian newspaper market (‘Kronen

Zeitung’, ‘Kurier’), and in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania,

Hungary and in Russia. The group also owns 16 printing works in Germany and

abroad. In 2006, the group had a turnover of 1.741 billion Euro.

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is the world's largest organisation of

journalists. First established in 1926, today the Federation represents around

600.000 members in more than 100 countries.  The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), is the regional

organisation of the IFJ in Europe and it ist the largest organisation of

journalists on the continent, representing about 260.000 journalists in over

thirty countries. The IFJ and EFJ promote international action to defend press freedom

and social justice through strong, free and independent organisations of

journalists; foster trade unions to maintain or create environments in which

quality media, ethical and independant journalism can be, become or return to

be a reality.