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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Prize for best Norwegian short documentary to 'This is Kabul'

'This is Kabul' won the prize for the best Norwegian short documentary at the Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF) this week. The film was produced by Bakkenivåfilm (Ground Level Film) and directed by Nargis Azaryun, Sadaf Fetrat, Sahar Fetrat, Anders Sømme Hammer and Christoffer Næss. The Fritt Ord Foundation congratulates the winners!

Since 2011, three young women named Sahar, Sadaf and Nargis have filmed their own lives in Kabul. Among other things, the film follows the establishment of the organisation 'Young Women for Change', which works to liberate young Afghani women. The jury's grounds state inter alia that the film "expands our perspective on those who are usually defined as victims, and demonstrates how a documentary film has the power to empower the powerless. The documentation in the film is strong, unique and engaging".

The Fritt Ord Foundation provided NOK 150 000 in support for production of the film in 2013.

Audience Award to Flink Pike (Good Girl) at BIFF 2014

Congratulations to Director Solveig Melkeraaen and 'Good Girl' on winning the Audience Award at the Bergen International Film Festival.

The documentary film 'Good girl' depicts Director Solveig Melkeraaen's experience of severe depression and treatment that included electroshock therapy. Produced by Ingvil Giske of the Media Operators, the film is described as a 'feel good' movie about depression.

The Fritt Ord Foundation provided a total of NOK 500 000 in funding for the development, production and launch of 'Good Girl'.