€10,000 prizes on offer as EU launches seventh edition of Samir Kassir press freedom award

 Journalists from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf are being offered the chance to win €10,000 in the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press,launched in Beirut by the EU Delegation in Lebanon.

"Samir Kassir's memory and values are more alive than ever in this period of transition in a newer Mediterranean region,” said AmbassadorAngelina Eichhorst, Head of the EU Delegation in Beirut. “His memory continues to inspire us all to be an engine for democracy and human rights and to open windows for positive change, for freedom, dignity and social justice."
The award, now into its seventh year, was launched at a press conference in the presence of Mrs Gisele Khoury-Kassir, widow of Samir Kassir and President of the Foundation bearing his name. 
“The coverage of the uprisings in this part of the world has revealed the power of the wide range of tools that journalists have now available to immediately access and share information through new media,” said Ambassador Eichhorst. “Unfortunately, the limitations imposed on journalists and media professionals to freely and safely accomplish their missions, are equally powerful. They vary from inhibiting the flow and access to information, to arrests of media workers and bloggers, expulsions and visa refusals for international journalists, kidnappings and even murders.”
The Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press, awarded since 2006 by the European Union, honours the Lebanese journalist and writer Samir Kassir who was assassinated in 2005. The Award has grown in popularity since its creation, each year witnessing an ever increasing number of candidates from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and the Gulf. This was particularly the case in 2011. 
The award rewards two journalists who have proved to be an example to others by the quality of their work in the following two categories:
  • best opinion article;
  • best investigative reporting article.
The contest is open to all journalists of the written press (daily, weekly, monthly and online press), regardless of age, who are citizens of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Journalists should send in their entries by 30 March 2012. The winner of each category will receive a prize of €10,000.
Applicants must submit only one article related to the rule of law or human rights (good governance, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, etc.).
Since the creation of the Samir Kassir Award, 634 journalists have participated in the contest. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
Speech of Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst 
EU Delegation – Lebanon
Samir Kassir Award website
ENPI Info Centre feature story – Samir Kassir award: improving the lives of journalists
ENPI Info Centre press pack – Supporting press freedom and dialogue: EU cooperation for information in the Neighbourhood

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