Laureate 2003: "Netzwerk Recherche" (Network Research Association)

Logo-netzwerk-rechercheNetzwerk Recherche (Network Research Association)
is committed to improving the quality of research and investigative journalism in Germany.

Netzwerk Recherche is an association of German journalists for the promotion of investigative journalism and a culture of research. The network was founded in 2001 as a non-profit society and has no political affiliations.

Dr. Thomas Leif, former chairman of the network, gives the following reason for the society’s founding: "Good investigative journalism is essential for freedom of the media."

The network and its initiatives want to strengthen research in day-to-day journalism and promote more extensive research in journalistic training. The network provides research grants of several months for in-depth work on previously neglected but socially relevant issues, as well as organizing seminars for the training and continuing education of journalists.

Its media prize "Leuchtturm" ("Lighthouse") honors exceptional research of particular relevance to public discourse. The "Geschlossene Auster" ("Closed Oyster") is a negative prize awarded annually (to Otto Schily, German Minster of the Interior, in 2002) for restricting media freedom, and serves as a reminder of the basic principles of freedom of the press.

The Foundation Council of the Media Foundation aims to support this initiative by awarding it the "3rd Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media" with a purse of 7,500 euros. Netzwerk Recherche is particularly consistent with the Media Foundation’s philosophy and its dedication to quality assurance in the field of journalism.