Fritt Ord Foundation calls for nominations of journalists and media for 2013 Press Prizes Eastern Europe

Israpil Shovkhalov & Abdulla Duduev, DOSH

Fritt Ord Foundation and ZEIT-Stiftung call for nominations of journalists and media primarily from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Nominations will be accepted until 22 October 2012. The prizes will be awarded at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo in June 2013.

"Those who submit nominations, jury members and both foundations share a common goal: We aspire to draw attention to journalists and media which in an honest, brave and consistent manner strive to promote independent journalism, that practice independent journalism", comments Theo Sommer, Editor-at-Large of Die ZEIT and chair of the jury for the press prizes.

The foundations would like to express their support for newspapers, Internet media and journalists in larger cities as well as for regional media aimed at strengthening the press in rural areas.

Nominations of journalists should include an explanation, CV and sample articles.

Nominations of media must contain information about the publisher, editorial board, circulation statistics and the media's history, as well as an evaluation of the media.

The media are to demonstrate broad editorial initiatives in at least three areas, one of which should be foreign policy. They should be able to demonstrate balanced coverage of political, cultural, economic and social affairs. They must show a commitment to democracy, international understanding and freedom of expression. The media must have been published for at least one year.

Several prizes are made available each year to newspapers or Internet media. In addition, special prizes are usually awarded to journalists.

The prize laureates themselves decide how the money will be spent, as long as it benefits the individual newspaper or journalist.

The decisions will be taken by an independent jury consisting of Falk Bomsdorf, Munich; Jo Groebel, Berlin; Gro Holm, Oslo; Stefanie Schiffer, Berlin; Theo Sommer, Hamburg; Vibeke von Sperling, Oslo/Copenhagen; Michael Thumann, Istanbul; Reinhard Veser, Frankfurt am Main.

Bente Roalsvig, Project Director, Fritt Ord Foundation, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), +47 91 61 33 40, +47 23 01 46 40
Fritt Ord Foundation, Uranienborgveien 2, 0258 Oslo, Norway, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), +47 23 01 46 46

Prize laureates 2012


Olga Romanova of Moscow uses her columns in The New Times and her blog to shed light on the shadowy aspects of the Russian justice system. She brings striking stories to light based on the conviction that independent media and reports are two sides of the same coin. Above all, this is about the importance of having an incorruptible eye, and knowing the value of clear speech.

The magazine DOSH reports on historical, cultural and political aspects of life in the Northern Caucasus. Editor-in-chief Israpil Shovkhalov believes in the power of words in a violent region that has been marked by war. In an area in which the people live under pressure and have been deprived of their rights, and where most of the media play down conflicts, DOSH’s decade of fearless journalism has shed light on human rights in Chechnya and is a prime example of how things can be done.


Valery Karbalevich, editor-in-chief of the journal Gramadzjanskaja Alternatiwa and a leading political commentator in Svobodnyje Novosti Plus in Minsk, ranks among the most important independent commentators on the Belorussian media landscape. The historian's strength is his ability to analyse. Judicious and courageous, he combines a profound knowledge of history with level-headed and vigilant judgment. Despite massive government propaganda and obstacles put in the way of his work, Valery Karbalevich has refused to be intimidated.


The weekly magazine Ukrainskyi Tyzhden, published in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, is pro-European. The growing pressures on independent media in Ukraine also affect a Ukrainian-language magazine like Ukrainskyi Tyzhden. There are distribution problems in the eastern part of the country in particular, and partial magazine shipments are confiscated. When confronted with this, it has been important to strengthen the independent national awareness of their readership – as a signal in the direction of Europe.


With her critical radio broadcasts and articles on corruption, the abuse of power and breaches of human rights, Khadija Ismayilova from Baku is one of the most important investigative journalists in Azerbaijan. Her discomforting, fearless stories have not been without disturbing consequences. A mudslinging campaign has tried to ensure her silence. Her courage and head-on treatment of oppression once again serve to emphasise Khadija Ismayilova's strength, underlining her conviction that free speech cannot be silenced.

Earlier prize laureates

A1+, Edik Baghdasaryan, Marianna Grigoryan

ANTV Online TV, Azadliq, Natiq Cavadli, Shahvalad Chobanoglu, Zamin Haji, Rauf Mirkadirov, TURAN


Batumelebi, Liberali, Resonansi, 24 Saati

BelaPAN, Belarusskaja Delovaja Gazeta, Belarusskij Rynok, Borisovskije Novosti, Brestkij Kurier, CDMAG, Gazeta Slonimskaja, Intex-Press, Ejednevnik, Svetlana Kalinkina, Maryna Koktysh, Mikola Markevitsch, Narodnaja Volja, Nasha Niva, Novy Chas, Salidarnasts, Svobodnyje Novosti, Asya Tretjuk, Vitebskij Kurjer
Diena, Veidas Lithuania

Cristian Tudor Popescu

Arsenjevskije Vesti, Mikhail Beketov, Chernovik, The Russian-Chechnian news agency, Inform Polis, Natalja Ivanishina, Victoria Ivleva-York, Kavkazskij Uzel (Caucasian Knot), Königsberger Express, Veronika Koutsyllo, Elena Larionova, Julia Latynina, Moy Gorod Bez Zenzury, Nevskoje Vremja, The New Times, Novaja Gazeta, Natalia Novozhilova, Novoje Vremja, Semen Novoprudskij, Obschtschaja Gazeta, Veronika Shakhova, Roman Shleynov, Sovetskaya Kalmykiya Segodnya, Zoya Svetova, Svesda, Svobodny Kurs, Fatima Tlisova, Tsjetsjenskoje Obsjestvo, Vyborgskiye Vedomosti

Express, Natalja Ligachova, Molodej Bukowinez, Vysokij Zamok, Ukrainska Pravda, Zerkalo Nedeli

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Supported projects – examples

Support for journals

Five journals figure on the list of recipients of the Fritt Ord Foundation's minor grants in June 2014. The journal Manifest Tidsskrift received support for a series of articles "Piketty to the People", and the philosophical journal Agora for a themed issue on racism. Seismopolite received a grant for its publication about freedom of expression in photography, film, theatre and performance art, while the Association of 2007 for the Promotion of Artistic Reflection and Debate received a grant for next year's issue of the art journal Second-Class Mail. Support was also granted for magazine Fanfare's #4 on the concept of "bullshit".

A list has been published of the minor grants awarded by the Freedom of Expression Foundation in June 2014 (in Norwegian).

Who is your hero?

The Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Pupils in Upper Secondary School will continue with a new topic in the upcoming school year: "Freedom of expression's heroes and anti-heroes".

To help the participants get started, we would like a contribution from you. Send in a short film clip in which you answer the question about who is your hero or anti-hero, and state your reason why in one sentence. Send the film to or as ‪#‎frittordhelt‬ on Twitter.

Manuscript support for new books

The Fritt Ord Foundation's round of major allocations in June 2014 included grants for 20 Norwegian writers to support the creation of new factual prose. For example, Sidsel Wold received NOK 150 000 for a book project with the working title "How to understand Syria?", while Sølvi Wærhaug received NOK 100 000 for a book on the history of the school of home economics that takes its point of departure in its founder Minna Wetlesen. NOK 150 000 were awarded to Ola Henmo for his documentary book about Karen Friele. Håvard Rem was awarded NOK 125 000 for the book ”Norwegian lyrics”, an historical literary review of Norwegian-language lyrics from 1945 to 2015, and Kjetil Jakobsen was granted NOK 150 000 to work on the second and third volume of the work "The World Citizenry's History of Ideas".

See the entire list of the major grants made by the Fritt Ord Foundation in June 2014.

Contributions to blog projects

The minor grants in May 2014 include two journalistic projects based on blogs as a means of communicating information. Through a blog and a newspaper column in the newspaper Dagsavisen, musician and journalist Aslak Borgersrud will report from the corridors of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, under the title "A Lout in Parliament". In their project "The Identity of Ukraine", the young journalists Eskil Wie and Frode Nagel Dahl will communicate news items from Ukraine through blogs, websites, exhibitions and books.

A list of the minor grants awarded in May 2014 has been posted.

Festival support

When processing applications for major grants in April 2014, support was given to seven festivals. The Bollywood Festival Norway 2014 and the project "Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival: Literature: for Peace" were among the recipients, along with the Non-fiction Festival in Oslo and the Festival University at the Oslo Book Festival. Grants were also awarded to the Oslo International Poetry Festival, the Trondheim Documentary Festival and the Literary Festival Words in the Borderland in Fredrikstad. Most of the festivals are scheduled for autumn 2014.

See the list of the major grants awarded by the Fritt Ord Foundation's in April 2014.