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World Press Freedom Day: Commission launches 2009 Lorenzo Natali Prize for committed journalists

June 3, 2009

Brussels, 3 May 2009

On World Press Freedom Day the Commission is officially launching the Lorenzo Natali Prize for 2009. The prize is awarded in partnership with Reporters Without Borders and the World Association of Newspapers to journalists who have demonstrated a commitment to human rights, democracy and development.

The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said: "Democracy cannot exist without freedom of information. Lack of information makes for an unhealthy society. The ideals of development, human rights and democracy cannot be achieved without free and independent media to raise questions and stimulate debate. The European Commission's aim in organising the Lorenzo Natali Prize is to support committed journalists who contribute to the cause of development, democracy and human rights through the quality of their work."

The Natali Prize is an international press award dating back to 1992. In 2008 over 1500 journalists from 151 countries took part. It is open to journalists working in TV, radio, the press and online.
Interested journalists have until 30 June 2009 to apply (www.nataliprize2009.eu). The winners will receive their prizes at a special award ceremony in Stockholm in October, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.
Prizes worth a total of ‚‚¨60 000 will be awarded to the winners in the different sections: Africa, Europe, Maghreb/Middle East, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean.

Background:

The Lorenzo Natali Prize is an integral part of the Commission's development policy, reflecting its belief that defending freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development is a way of promoting good governance, peace and progress and improving living conditions in the poorest countries.
For the organisation of the Lorenzo Natali Prize, the European Commission is once again working with two of the most prestigious world press associations:
- Reporters Without Borders, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2005;
- the World Association of Newspapers, which represents over 18 000 publications in all five continents.


For more information contact:
John Clancy
spokesperson
Phone: +32 2 29 53773
Website: www.nataliprize2009.eu/content/en/

Marie-Pierre Jouglain
press officer
Phone: +32 2 29 84449



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