Four awards presented to seven outstanding journalists

This year's Zurich Journalism Prize goes to Felix E. Müller, Paula Scheidt, Markus Häffliger and Thomas Preusse, as well as the trio of authors Federico Franchini, Hannes Grassegger and Daniel Puntas Bernet.

Felix E. Müller, Editor-in-Chief of NZZ am Sonntag, receives the 2016 Zurich Journalism Prize for his complete works. Paula Scheidt (Das Magazin) is honored for her article entitled "Swiss Family".Markus Häfliger and Thomas Preusse receive the prize for the series of articles published in the NZZ on the "Kazakhstan affair". The trio of authors Federico Franchini, Hannes Grassegger and Daniel Puntas Bernet were also honored for their research on "Unicef and Blood Gold" published in "Reportagen".


This year, the jury of the Zurich Journalism Prize, headed by Hannes Britschgi, honored three entries that stood out for their linguistic quality, form and impact as well as the underlying research work. The report on the journey of a refugee from Afghanistan to the Aargau province stood out from the numerous submissions, as did the research by a team of authors who looked into the connection between a philanthropic industrialist and African blood gold. The award also went to the work of a reporter from the Federal Parliament and a data journalist, whose series of articles cast a harsh light on the political scene in Bern.

In her laudatory speech, jury member Susan Boos (Woz) praised the work of Federal Parliament editor Markus Häfliger and data journalist Thomas Preusse (NZZ) on the Kazakhstan affair as a "first-class lesson". "Not that we didn't know. But never before has anyone traced so precisely how maliciously certain lobbyists manipulate", said Boos.

Journalist Paula Scheidt brought Afghan refugee Ezmari, about whose life with his host parents she wrote her excellent report "Swiss Family" (Das Magazin), on stage with her.

Daniel Puntas Bernet, Federico Franchini and Hannes Grassegger revealed in their article "Unicef and blood gold" (Reportages) how the German head of Unicef was involved in business with African blood gold. Laudator Hansi Voigt described the authors' "outstanding work" as "extremely precise journalistic forensics".

The jury honored Felix E. Müller, the founder and editor-in-chief of NZZ am Sonntag, with the prize for his complete works. Jury president Britschgi paid tribute to Müller as a "passionate journalist and recognized editorialist" whose decades of journalistic work have helped shape journalism in Switzerland.

Felix E. Müller, winner of the prize for his complete works, is the "father" of the NZZ am Sonntag. And of the NZZ lifestyle supplement Z, which he was once given as a test object for the Sunday edition - and which was finally added to the NZZ after consistently being in the black. He wrote his first article for the NZZ in 1997 - an eyewitness account of the attack in Luxor, which he survived with his wife.

The award ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at Kaufleuten Zurich, was attended by numerous prominent guests from the worlds of business, media and politics. The Zurich Journalism Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for journalism in Switzerland, has been awarded since 1981. Each of the four prizes awarded is endowed with CHF 10,000. Outstanding and groundbreaking work and complete works are honored, regardless of whether they are distributed via a newspaper, magazine or online channel. The award is made possible thanks to contributions and donations from publishers, companies and institutions. The foundation would like to thank Migros, Google and the Zürcher Presseverein for their support. (hae/pd)

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