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In many Eastern European countries, the media faces extreme pressure. Numerous journalists work under highly difficult conditions, sometimes risking their life and physical safety in the name of a free press and independent reporting. With the Free Media Awards, the ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERIUS and the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation seek to acknowledge these journalists and media outlets and encourage them to continue their work despite the threats and violent repression. Each year, the two foundations honor outstanding journalists, editors, and media providers in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Armenia who overcome these obstacles and doggedly fight for a free press. 

The award winners are nominated by international institutions and organizations; the final determinations are made by a select six-person jury. Conferral of the Free Media Awards occurs in Hamburg and Norway on a rotating basis.

The 2023 Free Media Awards were bestowed on Ukrainian journalists Sevgil Musaieva and Yuriy Nikolov as well as on the editorial teams from OC Media (Georgia), Reform.by (Belarus) and Vazhnye Istorii (Russia). The award ceremony took place on 14 September 2023 in the Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg. Information on prize winners from previous years is available at: frittord.no/en/prizes/free-media-awards.

Since its establishment, the ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERUIS has supported independent journalism by means of regional projects and international grants, especially in Eastern Europe, and it is committed to defending freedom of the press in Germany and around the globe. Recognizing outstanding media professionals is one aspect of this commitment. Together with the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation, the ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERIUS has been honoring journalists in Eastern Europe since 2004. The “Free Media Awards” have been given out since 2016.

Contact person:
Jessica Staschen, Head of Journalism funding and Communications, staschen@zeit-stiftung.de

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