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Media: Tanya Farber wins Lorenzo Natali Prize 2011 0


The South African journalist, Tanya Farber, is the winner of the Lorenzo Natali Human Rights Journalism Award 2011 for the ‘Africa’ section. Focusing on South Africa and published in the Cape Times, her work draws attention to persistent homophobic attitudes as well as other societal prejudice.


Farber questions institutional and societal accountability in South Africa and forces the reader to reflect on how both rape and homosexuality are regarded. By exploring the motivation and belief-system of a perpetrator, the article offers valuable insights into this shocking crime and puts a human face on a problem ignored by many.

Tanya Farber is a freelance South African journalist and writer who has won local and international awards, including a CNN African Journalism Award. She holds an MA (Journalism) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, and worked as a journalist at the Star newspaper in Johannesburg for seven years.

The second prize goes to Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist from Ghana specialized in human rights. Anas was already awarded in 2010 from the European Commission with a story on Chinese sex mafia. For this edition, the international jury of the Natali Prize, led by by Toby Vogel, a senior journalist for the European Voice, has awarded Anas for his tenacious, investigative piece, published in The New Crusading Guide, that “deals with the violation of human rights and focuses on a childcare centre in Ghana. Following a seven-month investigation, Anas exposes the shocking betrayal of trust that has resulted in the injury and death of numerous vulnerable children in state care”.

The third prize goes to Anne Mireille Nzouankeu, a Cameroonian journalist, “who took considerable risks in broaching the subject of the treatment of homosexuals in Cameroon“. Her story was published by the daily indipenden newspaper, Le Jour. “Nzouankeu breaks a taboo by highlighting human rights abuses, from beatings and hefty fines to the lack of access to healthcare and imprisonment. The article generated a record number of reader responses, albeit mostly negative, whilst spurring a local radio debate on the decriminalisation of homosexuality”.

Last but not least, the Grand Prize goes to Tom Heinemann, who has been working as an independent investigative journalist for more than 20 years. Heinemann was awarded yesterday night in Brussels for his television documentary on the potential dark side of the microcredit phenomenon. “He also highlights human tragedies, such as suicides that have resulted from the pressure of personal debt or the social exclusion that can ensue when individual misfortune places a borrowing group in jeopardy” said the Jury. “Broadcast in more than 14 countries, the documentary has achieved truly global resonance – a fact attested to by the numerous subsequent official investigations into microcredit. The Grand Jury noted that ‘millions are affected by Heinemann’s story’ and commended the journalist for ‘challenging our way of thinking.’

Heinneman is among 17 winners from all around the world who were awarded the Lorenzo Natali Prize for outstanding journalistic work covering issues of development, human rights and democracy during the award ceremony in Brussels tonight. They have been chosen from more than 1300 participants.

Speaking on the winners, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: “Good governance, human rights, democracy, and free media are key conditions for social and economic development. Europe is committed to promoting these values across the world, but recognises that they require the contribution of the media to give a voice to all citizens and to record events accurately. Through their commitment and professionalism, the 2011 Lorenzo Natali Prize winners have harnessed the potential to reach out to citizens, providing us with eye-opening human stories and on-the-ground realities. We applaud their efforts and thank them for their valuable contributions to promoting development, democracy and human rights all over the world.”

The Prize is in its 20th year. Through this Prize, the European Commission aims to reward journalists reporting in often challenging circumstances, celebrating the ways in which journalism can be a seed of positive change, the inspiration for development, and the engine for democracy and human rights.

By Staff –

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi