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5th EU Prize for Journalists

Netherlands, Germany and Denmark EU Health journalism winners

The winners of the fifth EU Health Prize for Journalists were announced by Health Commissioner, Mr Tonio Borg, at an award ceremony in Brussels.

The EU Health Prize for Journalists has been running for five years. It aims to raise awareness on important health issues affecting the lives of people across the EU – issues that the European Commission addresses through legislation or other initiatives. It also sets out to encourage and award excellent health journalism across Europe.

The main theme of this edition of the Prize was ´Europe for Patients´, which comprises the topics: cross border healthcare, rare diseases, organ donation and transplantation, health workforce, patient safety and hospital acquired infections, chronic diseases, vaccination, prudent use of antibiotics, ageing and dementias, active and healthy ageing, pharmaceuticals and health determinants: tobacco, alcohol and nutrition & physical activity.

Journalists were invited to submit their articles published in print or online media in any EU Member State (including Croatia) between 01 August 2012 and 30 September 2013. The articles were relate to one of the 12 health topics listed above.

The national finalist for each EU country nominated by a the jury received: € 6 500 for the winner, € 4 000 for the second prize and € 2 500 for the third prize.

Out of more than 850 articles entered into the competition, 28 national finalists were chosen by juries in each EU country. Amidst the shortlist of 28 excellent articles, the winners are:

  • 1st place: Henk Blanken writing for Dagblad van het Noorden (the Netherlands) for his article “Carel’s Head", a story which follows a young man suffering from Parkinson´s disease from diagnosis to treatment, and gives a detailed and emotional account of the pioneering surgery he receives.
  • 2nd place: Christiane Hawranek and Marco Maurer, writing for Die Zeit (Germany) for their sharp, ‘documentary-style’ article “The Patient Traffickers” which highlights dubious practices in non-regulated medical care across borders.
  • 3rd place: Mette Dahlgaard writing for the Berlingske newspaper (Denmark) for “Am I Killing Someone?”, the story of a sperm donor who discovers that he carries the gene for a highly hereditary form of cancer, but hits a brick wall when he tries to find a way of warning potential children who could be affected.

Of interest