Belarus in Focus 2012: Winners Awarded in Warsaw
Warsaw, March 18, 2013| Winners of the international journalism competition ‘Belarus in Focus 2012’ were awarded on Friday, March 15, 2013 in Warsaw. The competition received 60 articles from 36 journalists from 16 countries all over the world – from Indonesia to Germany, Costa Rica to Romania. The most articles were sent by journalists from Belarus, the United Kingdom, and Poland.
The international panel of judges looked for analytical articles that attempted to take a fresh approach to Belarus - a country commonly labeled as ‘the last dictatorship of Europe’. All articles had been written for an audience outside of Belarus.
“The competition aimed to attract more international attention to the situation in Belarus. When the western media writes about what is happening there, western policymakers also keep Belarus in the focus of their attention. And that means that Belarusian society isn’t alone with its problems”, said Yuliya Slutskaya, jury member and director of Solidarity with Belarus Information Office.
First place was awarded to Michal Potocki (Poland) for ‘Split Personality Intersection’ published in the Polish daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. Jury member Oliver Money-Kyrle of the International Federation for Journalists said: “Using the elections as a backdrop, [it] provides a crash course on all aspects of the problems facing ordinary Belarusians pulling no punches in its assessment of either the authorities or the opposition. Excellent journalism.”
Laurent Vinatier (France) received second prize for ‘A Dictatorship’s Success Stories’ published in The Global Journal: “an exciting insight on the hidden world of Belarusian oligarchs and dirty European politics. Worlds that seem miles apart are actually more intertwined than it seems’’, commented Polona Frelih, laureate of ’Belarus in Focus 2011’.
Belarusian journalist and editor of a leading Belarusian language newspaper ‘Nasha Niva’, Andrej Dynko, received third prize for ‘Europe’s Last Dictatorship’, The New York Times. Professor David R. Marples reflected “..an important article. Ostensibly it is mainstream in that it focuses on the ‘last dictatorship in Europe’, but in fact it delves deeper into one of the lesser known aspects, the KGB prison and torture techniques.”
Judges gave honourable mentions to Natalia Antelava (Georgia) for ‘Europe’s Last Dictator Belarus’ Lukashenko Opens Up’, BBC, Katarzyna Kwiatkowska (Poland) for ‘Operation Successor’, Polityka and Jan-Henry Wanink (Germany), ‘Belarus by Bike’, Grafschafter Nachrichten. Italian journalist Sara Biccherini won the audience award for ‘That’s why we fled Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe’, Io Donna.
The second edition of Belarus in Focus was organized by Solidarity with Belarus Information Office in cooperation with Press Club Polska, and supported by the Canada Fund.