"Writing for CEE" 2006 Prize Winners Announced

  • Šefik Dautbegović, Bosnia, wins the prize for his text "My Country – Which Road to Europe?"

The journalism prize "Writing for CEE" 2006 was awarded to Bosnian journalist Šefik Dautbegović. The award ceremony for the annual prize sponsored by Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) and APA – Austrian Press Agency took place on Thursday evening in Vienna. Dautbegović, a journalist at the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje, was present to accept the EUR 5,000 prize for his article "My Country – on Which Road to Europe".

Šefik Dautbegović was born in Prozor in 1948 and has worked for Oslobodjenje and other media since 1973. The award-winning text chosen by the seven-member jury was read out at the ceremony by the actor Fritz von Friedl. The text is a subtle and ironic analysis of the search for a path from the Bosnian capital Sarajevo to Europe, toward European integration. However, there are obstacles to the search, the reasons for which are to be found in the peculiar post-war circumstances of the Balkan country. Gustáv Murín (Bratislava), Janina Dragostinova (Sofia) and Hans von der Brelie (Lyon) received commendations.

Dautbegović said he regretted that the different ethnic groups in his country were still "pulling in three directions". In a reference to the educational system in Bosnia-Herzegovina he said, "We cannot integrate into Europe with separate school systems." He also took a jibe at Bosnian politicians, saying "there are more Audis in Bosnia than there are motorway miles."

The award ceremony also remembered a tragic event: The murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was shot at her home in Moscow on 7 November.
This year's key note speaker Susanne Scholl, for many years head of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) office in Moscow, spoke about her experiences in Russia and praised Anna Politkovskaya as a journalist "who had watched events with her heart and mind, and made her judgements without regard to the possible wishes or desires of those about whom she wrote".

The members of the jury for 2006 were the Czech communications scientist Milan Smid, the Slovak publicist Michael Berko, the Slovenian writer Joze Hudecek, the Polish journalist Igor Janke, the Hungarian radio journalist Julia Varadi, the international spokeswoman of BA-CA, Ildiko Füredi-Kolarik, and APA foreign affairs boss Ambros Kindel. There were around 60 entries from 12 countries in 2006.

In 2005 the "Writing for CEE" prize was awarded to the Bulgarian journalist Diana Ivanova. In 2004 it went to the foreign affairs editor of the Prague newspaper Lidove Noviny, Lubos Palata. The German journalist Stefan Jacobs received a commendation.

"Writing for CEE" will be awarded again in 2007 Information und entry forms can be obtained from http://www.apa.at/cee-award.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt, International Press Relations
Ildiko Füredi-Kolarik, Tel: +43-50505-56102
e-mail: ildiko.fueredi-kolarik@ba-ca.com

Further information is also available at: http://www.apa.at/cee-award - Journalism Prize