Excellent journalism

Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media 2024 goes to German journalist Sabine Adler and the German media company Correctiv.

Leipzig, 19 June 2024. German radio journalist and author Sabine Adler and German media company Correctiv will be awarded the Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig in 2024. The prize recognizes media professionals and institutions who, with their work and with great personal commitment, serve freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The prize will be awarded on 8 October 2024 at Media Campus Villa Ida in Leipzig, the seat of Media Foundation, and is endowed with 10,000 euros each.

With Sabine Adler, long-time foreign correspondent of Deutschlandfunk public radio station and author of several non-fiction books on contemporary history, the jury honoured a German journalist for her work, particularly in Eastern Europe: “Sabine Adler stands for excellent, calm quality journalism under increasingly difficult conditions in her locations,” explains Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Media Foundation: “As a correspondent with a focus on Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, she has combined analytical, precise and highly knowledgeable journalistic reporting with a clear basic attitude that focuses on civil society actors and their commitment to democracy and human rights for many years. Her support of a resolution from December 2014 for a reality-based rather than illusion-led Russia policy was clear-sighted and morally courageous: a warning that went unheard at the time.”

By electing the German media company Correctiv, founded in 2014, the jury emphasized the importance of investigative journalism for the functioning of democratic societies. Especially now, when the liberal-democratic basic order is being attacked more and more violently in political debates through targeted disinformation, half-truths and false claims, investigative journalism has an outstanding control and criticism function. “Correctiv has performed this control and criticism function, initiating public debates, uncovering grievances, corruption and unethical behavior, and raising awareness of the actions of politically extreme individuals, organizations and parties that are hostile to the liberal-democratic basic order, in an excellent manner," said Burkhard Jung, Chairman of the Foundation Board and Lord Mayor of Leipzig, summarizing the jury's decision.

The jury, consisting of the Board of the Foundation and the Foundation Council, had to choose from a large number of high-calibre proposals of national and international media professionals. The laureates were chosen after scientific research on all candidates.

About the laureates:

Sabine Adler studied journalism at what was then Karl Marx University in Leipzig. From 1987 she worked for the Magdeburg regional broadcaster at Radio DDR II public radio station. Between 1990 and 1993 she worked at radio ffn and then moved to Deutsche Welle public radio station. Since 1997 Adler has worked in various positions for Deutschlandradio's programs - with an interlude as Head of Press and Communications for the German Bundestag between October 2011 and September 2012 - including as correspondent in Russia, as head of the Berlin studio and, since 2012, as Eastern Europe correspondent in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and the Baltic countries. Sabine Adler has published five books on contemporary Eastern European history, most recently “The Ukraine and us. Germany's failure and the lessons for the future” (2022) and “What will become of Russia? About a nation between war and self-destruction” (2024). German Medium Magazine named Sabine Adler “Political Journalist of the Year” in 2010, among other things. In 2015 she was awarded the Karl Hermann Flach Prize by the foundation of the same name.

Correctiv is a German investigative media company initiated by the journalist David Schraven and founded in 2014 as a non-profit Ltd. The work is financed through donations and grants from foundations and institutions. Much of the research is carried out in collaboration with newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations. In recent years, the counterfeiting of cancer drugs, the CumEx scandal, the structure of the German real estate market and right-wing extremist networks have been thematic focuses of Correctiv's work. Research into a meeting of right-wing extremist and ethnic-identitarian circles and the “master plan” discussed there for the “remigration” of foreigners living in Germany and Germans with migrant roots led to demonstrations for democracy, diversity and tolerance across Germany in early 2024. Correctiv or individual journalists and/or research have received numerous awards, including the Grimme Online Award in 2015 and 2019, the Otto Brenner Prize for critical journalism in 2018 and the Theodor Heuss Medal for special commitment to democratic politics (2023).

2024 - Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media
2024 - Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media