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Brussels, 5 February 2009

'For Diversity. Against Discrimination.': this year's EU award-winning articles

The EU's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination' prize for journalists has been awarded today to a French article about gay football players, in a tie with a Danish article about women who convert to Islam. The third prize went to a Portuguese article while the special Roma Award has been won by a Greek journalist. The award ceremony will take place in Prague this evening at the Kaiserstejnsky Palace.

"Media play a key role in the fight against discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes," says Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Equal Opportunities. "The values of diversity and social cohesion are all the more important in the current social, economic and financial context."

At today's ceremony, the European Commission will honour those journalists who, through their writing, help foster a better understanding of the benefits of diversity and who encourage readers to consider more closely issues of discrimination and inequality. This year, the Commission is dedicating a Special Award to an article concentrating on Roma issues.

Pascale Krémer, journalist at Le Monde, wins the joint first prize with her article “Homophobie et football: la leçon de Chooz” (Homophobia and football – The lesson of Chooz) on gay players in a local football team. It looks at how the lucrative marketing world of football helps perpetuate discrimination against gays and lesbians but also examines the positive measures taken by football leagues across Europe to combat it.

The other joint first prize goes to Ole Hall, journalist at the Danish Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. His article “Danske muslimer udsat for chikane” (Danish Muslims are subject to harassment) reveals how Danish women who convert to Islam suddenly go from being a member of a majority to becoming a very visible minority in their home country. As such, they face the same prejudices and hostility from society as Muslims of foreign parentage.

Christiana Martins and Marisa Antunes win the third place with their article “Elite à prova de racismo” (Racism-proof elite) about successful Portuguese citizens from minority backgrounds who have broken through glass ceilings. It was published in the weekly Portuguese newspaper Expresso.

For the Special Roma award, Mika Kontourousi, journalist at the Eleftheros Tipos wrote the article “Η Γιουζγιάν σπάει τα σύνορα της φυλής της” (Yuzyan “breaks” the borders of her tribe). It describes the problems Roma women are confronted with when they try to move away from their traditional roles in society.

The prize-giving ceremony will take place as part of a seminar on 'Media for Diversity', organised by the European Commission. The seminar will present the results of a pan-European study on good practices by and about the media in tackling discrimination and promoting diversity. It will gather more than 80 media professionals, equality bodies and NGOs from around Europe.

The Journalist Award scheme is one of a wide range of awareness-raising activities taking place as part of the EU's 'For Diversity. Against Discrimination.' information campaign. European Youth Press and the Association of European Journalists are partners of this Award edition.

The winning entries to the journalist award scheme were selected from over 545 articles from all 27 Member States submitted between 1 January and 31 October 2008. The jury members underlined the high quality of the articles submitted. The four European winners will each receive a grant for a research trip to an EU country of their choice.

See also MEMO/09/51

Further information

Journalist Award 2008

'For Diversity. Against Discrimination.' campaign

Media for Diversity study

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