With the annual awarding of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media”, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig supports the freedom of the press and thus the commemoration of the fall of 1989. This prize is awarded to journalists, publishers, and media institutions from around the world that are committed to the cause of protecting and expanding freedom of the press, and in doing so display a willingness to take risks, great personal commitment, persistence, courage and a firm belief in democracy.
1) General principles
(1) The prize is endowed with 30.000 Euros. The prize money is limited to a maximum of 10,000 euros per laureate. The prize can be awarded to one or to several laureates.
(2) Beginning in 2001, the award ceremony takes place once a year.
(3) The prize will be advertised publicly. Thus, a commitment to award the prize in the year of the tender is included.
2) Proposal conditions
(1) Any real or legal person has the right to propose candidates for the prize. There is no regional restriction.
(2) The proposal will be effected by the submission of given name and last name as well as home country of the candidate in order to allow an unambiguous identification of the person or institution.
(3) The proposal has to be submitted with a biography, a brief informal reasoning, publications and selected press articles.
(4) Until 28/29 February of each year of awarding, the documents have to be sent to the following address:
Medienstiftung der Sparkasse Leipzig
Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media
+49(0)341 – 562 96 61
+49(0)341 – 562 96 63 (FAX)
(5) The documents for proposals are not insured. By submitting the documents the proposer exempts the Media Foundation of all claims.
(1) The jury for the election of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” is composed of the Foundation Council and the Board of Foundation of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig.
(2) The jury is not bound by instructions and free in its decision.
(3) The meetings of the jury are not public. The jury has a quorum if at least half of its members and the chairman of the Foundation Council - or in his absence the first deputy - participate in the decision-making meeting. If there is a reasonable prevention, an absent member of the jury may, after handing in a written notice to the Chairman of the Foundation Council and in existing quorum, transfer his vote to a member who is present.
(4) The jury’s decision is final. The decision has to be justified in written form. Legal recourse is excluded.
4) Nomination criteria
(1) This prize is intended for distinguished journalists, publishers, and media institutions from around the world that are committed to the cause of protecting and expanding freedom of the press, and in doing so display a willingness to take risks, great personal commitment, persistence, courage and a firm belief in democracy.
Anyone who strengthens the protection and development of press freedom and uncovers abuses despite all obstacles, difficulties and significant personal risks can be nominated. Here, the personal commitment to press freedom outweighs personal reputation.
(2) The performance according to the nomination criteria
- is regarded as a contribution to the strengthening of press freedom, for example if resistance had to be overcome,
- requires a journalistic quality,
- shows a well above-average commitment,
- must refer to a relevant or remarkable object of general interest and
- takes into account additional factors, that are particularly to be valued, such as an outstanding and meaningful implementation.
5) Nomination process
The selection follows a two-fold test with determined criteria. All candidates first undergo a peer review. After that, the jury elects the laureates. The expert opinion is a recommendation; its results are not binding for the jury.
(1) For the peer view process, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig wins a renowned expert from the field of journalism and media.
(2) The expert verifies if the submitted candidatures correspond to the nomination criteria of § 4, paragraph 2, and creates an independent expert opinion.
(3) The expert opinion includes a detailed research on all candidates on the basis of the submitted documents (e. g. exposés, articles, reports, broadcasts). Based on this research, the expert opinion includes a ranking as well as recommendations for the most worthy nominations.
(4) For each criteria in § 4, paragraph 2, the expert team can assign up to ten points on the basis of a thorough research. Thus, one candidate can reach a maximum of 50 points.
(5) In preparation for a decision, the expert opinion will be sent to the jury at least three weeks before the meeting of the jury.
6) Election process
(1) The jury makes the decision for the award in a multi-stage voting process.
(2) After every ballot, the members of the jury justify the decision for their favourites. In the first ballot, every member of the jury has up to three votes, which are distributed to three candidates. Here, every elected candidate receives one vote. The five candidates with the largest number of votes take part in the second ballot. Other candidates will be considered only in a tie.
(3) In the second ballot - the “short-listed selection” - every member of the jury has one vote.
(4) The decision on who receives the prize (as well if there will be one ore several laureates), occurs at the end with a qualified majority (2/3 of the votes present). Abstentions are considered as not submitted votes.
(5) Preferably, the prize will be awarded to a single laureate. It is also possible to award several winners.
(6) It is in the discretion of the jury to nominate worthy candidates again for the next year.
(7) If a candidate will not accept the prize, the jury determines another laureate in order of the votes.
(8) In special cases, an election by the way of circulation is possible, if all members of the jury agree with the procedure and a qualified majority of 2/3 of the members agree on the election.
7) Award ceremony and announcement
(1) In general, the award ceremony will take place at the “Media Campus Villa Ida” in Leipzig. The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig wins an orator for the “Leipzig Speech to the Freedom of Media and Press”.
(2) In general, the award ceremony will take place at 8 October, the eve of 9 October, which is a decisive date for the Leipzig fall of 1989.
(3) The prize will be awarded by the Chairman of the Board of Foundation and the Chairman of the Foundation Council. If one of them should be unable to come, Board of Foundation or Foundation Council of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig will send a representative from the Board of Foundation or the Foundation Council.
(4) The prize will be awarded to the laureates personally. Exceptions to this rule shall be made by the Executive Board in agreement with the laureate. Legal recourse is excluded.
(5) The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig will transfer the prize money to the laureate in the agreed manner. The prize money will be transferred to the laureate’s bank account. The bank account details will be sent to the Media Foundation by the laureate together with the declaration of acceptance of the prize. The period of transferring the prize money expires at the end of the third year after the award ceremony.
Leipzig, 11 June 2020