Stern Prize 2023: ARD documentary is “Story of the Year” – media

It is considered to be one of the most coveted prizes in journalism: The Stern Prize, previously known as the Nannen Prize for many years. It was presented on Wednesday in Hamburg – and lived up to its name: The winners were presented with a white block with a star punched out – as big as a notepad and so heavy that you probably prefer to hold it with both hands. Several stories about the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine were nominated this year, but many contributions on the subject of non-heterosexual life plans can also be found among the nominees – and among the winning contributions.

In the “royal category”, as moderator Mareile Höppner (RTL) The category “Story of the Year” named, the documentary “How God created us” (Das Erste) wins. In the film, queer employees of the Catholic Church dare to come out. The film shows when the personal becomes political, emphasized the jury. Hajo Seppelt had researched for ten years, and the co-authors Katharina Kühn, Marc Rosenthal, and Peter Wozny must have put a lot of work into the film: they interviewed 100 people for the documentary.

The coveted one Egon Erwin Kisch Prizewho selects the best reportage, wins Rudolf Novotny with his story “I want to be a normal woman. Just like that” (time magazine). For seven years, Novotny accompanied a girl who was born in a boy’s body. “The author manages a special reporter’s feat: he disappears,” said jury member Luise Strothmann. He filled ten notebooks, says Novotny in a short speech. And in fact, at some point, for example, at the protagonist’s birthdays, he no longer received much attention: he had become so much a part of her life.

Nanna Heitmann has already won her 26th prize in eight years for her photo story

The award-winning research in the category investigation can be summed up in one word, said jury member Anette Dowideit: massage seat. “It was this detail that particularly triggered the public”: namely in the so-called RBB affair about the former director Patricia Schlesinger. Through the text by Jan C. Wehmeyer (Business Insider) you got a unique insight. In the category local Joachim Frank’s research on the abuse scandal surrounding Cardinal Woelki wins: Im Cologne city gazette Frank showed how the Archbishop of Cologne dealt with cases of sexual exploitation in the Catholic Church.

The prize in the special category “republic“, in which “special merits to the Republic” are honored, Oliver Hollenstein and Oliver Schröm clear up for their research on the Cum-Ex tax scandal. The award winner can proudly report in the category “Photo Story of the Year“: Nanna Heitmann (Time) in eight years, the Stern Prize is the 26th Heitmann lives and photographs in Russia. What is it like to work as a journalist in Russia? “It has changed abruptly in the last three weeks,” said Heitmann: A little more than three weeks ago, on March 30, US journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested on suspicion of espionage.

Stern Prize: Nanna Heitmann lives and photographs in Russia.  It's anything but easy, she says at the award ceremony "star price".

Nanna Heitmann lives and photographs in Russia. It’s anything but easy, she says at the “Stern Prize” awards ceremony.

(Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa)

Not a word about the 700 job cuts

There had recently been discussions about the name of the prize. Actually, the price is according to the publisher and star-Founder named Henri Nannen. Because of his Nazi past, the star but distanced himself from Nannen last year and decided to rename the prize. A research group at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich is currently investigating Nannen’s past – until the results are available, they do not want to go back to the name “Nannen Prize”. This was explained by moderators Höppner and Gregor Peter Schmitz (star) right at the beginning of the event.

No issue against: The 700 jobs that are to be cut at the Gruner + Jahr publishing house. After the merger of RTL and the traditional publisher, it became known in February that Bertelsmann intends to discontinue several of the traditional publisher’s magazines. However, it was to be expected that the unpleasant topic would be left out of the event. The two moderators joked about the temperature in the quite congested track hall next to the Hobenköök restaurant: 15 degrees was “the number of the evening,” said moderator Mareile Höppner (RTL).

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