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Romea.cz contributors win honorable mention for reporting on Romani people in Kosovo

Prague, 17.4.2012 23:26, (ROMEA)

The jury for the Czech Novinářská cena 2011 (Press Awards 2011) prize has announced the winning three nominations and also awarded honorable mentions to pieces deserving of recognition for their exceptional quality. Lukáš Houdek and Zdeňka Kainarová have won an honorable mention in the "Best Reportage" in print journalism category for a series of articles on Romani people in Kosovo published by Romea.cz.

The gala awards ceremony for the competition will take place on 24 April 2012 at Prague's Rock Café and will be attended by representatives of the Czech media, members of the jury, and other leading figures. The competition in the Czech Republic is held by the Open Society Foundation Prague in collaboration with the Czech branch of Google.

"The jury is awarding this honorable mention to a cohesive, information-rich series of articles providing a diverse range of views of the situation of marginalized people which was conceived of without the involvement of large publishers," the jury said of the honorable mention awarded to the article series by Lukáš Houdek and Zdeňka Kainarová. The series was entitled "Romani People in Kosovo 12 Years after the War" ("Romové v Kosovu – 12 let po válce").

"This award doesn't necessarily speak to the quality of the work - it's just the subjective evaluation of a certain group of people - but I greatly appreciate the honorable mention in this competition, not only because I don't really consider myself a journalist, but primarily because a series of articles about Romani people in postwar Kosovo has been appreciated. My colleague Zdeňka Kainarová and I really worked very hard on it. I hope this award will help the articles get to more people and that the Romani people in Kosovo will receive more opportunities to speak about their problems to a broader public," said Lukáš Houdek.

This year more than 330 contributions were submitted in 10 categories of audiovisual, online and print journalism. Each category was decided by an independent jury of between three and five members comprised of figures from the worlds of academia, the media, and the nonprofit sector. A list of all the winning entries can be found (in Czech only) at http://www.novinarskacena.cz/tiskovezpravy/poroty-oznamily-nominace-na-viteze-v-soutezi-novinarska-cena-2011/#nominace .

The juries for most of the categories positively evaluated the variety of contributions and the diversity of the media outlets represented. For example, the jury for the audiovisual category of "Best Discussion/Interview", comprised of Petr Herian, Štefan Hríb, Jakub Končelík, Petr Machálek and Karel Strachota, welcomed the fact that both individuals and large teams of reporters submitted entries, as well as the fact that the topics ranged from very specific ones to programs on topics of society-wide impact.

However, the audiovisual category of "Best Analytical-Investigative Contribution" did not have such a range of submissions. "Although the jury appreciated the high level of the vast majority of the contributions submitted, it was less glad to realize that the best of them are all the productions of a single program on a single television station. Next time we hope to see more diversity and participation by journalists from more radio and television stations, including internet portals," said jurors Ivo Mathé, Tatiana Repková, Radek Špicar, Tomáš Vrba and Gabriel Šípoš, who awarded three contributions from the Czech Television "Reporters" program (Reportéři ČT).

The biggest amount of work this year once again fell to the jury that reviewed written analytical-investigative contributions. Almost 60 pieces were submitted into the category, which "showed the entire breadth of the dismal, sinister social situation in which we find ourselves." The jury, comprised of Adriana Krnáčová, Zuzana Wienk, Michal Berg and Lenka Waschková-Císařová, appreciated the journalist's difficult work and said that the "contributions demonstrated very well the power of editorial boards that systematically support investigative work and which, thanks to that work, are able to make very good use of public information."

The jury for the Google Digital Innovation category highlighted the gradual development of online journalism, awarding its Google Prize for innovative, professional online journalism. "For the time being there is an opportunity for everyone in this area who knows investigative approaches and is able to work with basic technologies," said jurors Douglas Arellanes, Jakub Fiala, Eva Vozárová, Adam Zbiejczuk and Petr Koubský.

The gala celebration of the winners, who will be awarded certificates and CZK 20 000, will be held on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 at 19:00 at Rock Café (Národní 20, Prague 1). During the evening, the Czech-Slovak Public Prize will also be awarded to the contribution which has either had the greatest social impact or fundamentally contributed to strengthening civil rights.

The Press Awards competition is organized in the Czech Republic by the Open Society Fund Prague in collaboration with the Czech branch of Google and the Nadácia otvorenej spoločnosti – Open Society Foundation Bratislava. Media monitoring for the competition is provided by Newton Media a.s. You can find more details in Czech and Slovak at www.novinarskacena.cz and www.novinarskacena.sk.

Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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