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press release

Presentation of German-US Arthur F. Burns Prize for Journalists

06.06.2012

This year’s awardees of the Arthur F. Burns Prize for Journalists will be honoured in Berlin tonight (6 June) on behalf of Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

This year’s German awardee will be Gordon Repinski of the Spiegel magazine’s Berlin office, while the American awardee will be Aaron Wiener from The New Republic magazine. The George F. Kennan Commentary Award 2012 will be presented to Hans-Dieter Gelfert, emeritus Professor for English literature and regional studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.

The prizes will be presented on the occasion of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program Annual Dinner, in the atrium of the Deutsche Bank here in Berlin. The guest speaker will be NATO Commander-in-Chief Admiral G. Stavridis.

The awardees

Gordon Repinski, alumnus 2011, is being honoured for his report “Der Fall Irons” (The Irons Case), which was published in “sonntaz” on 5 November 2011. Gordon Repinski gives a sensitive account of the life of famous American surfer Andy Irons, who was unable to cope with his own success and died of a drug overdose at a young age.

Aaron Wiener, Burns alumnus 2010, is being honoured for his article “How Germany phased out nuclear power, only to get mugged by reality”, which appeared in The New Republic on 31 October 2011. In his article, Wiener depicts the unexpected consequences of the sudden transformation of the energy system for all parties involved – politicians, nuclear energy lobbyists and members of the ecological movement.

This year’s recipient of the George F. Kennan Commentary Award is Hans-Dieter Gelfert, emeritus Professor for English literature and regional studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is being honoured for his commentary in the Tagesspiegel newspaper of 6 November 2011 entitled “Die widersprüchlichen USA – zwischen Religion und Aufklärung, zwischen Tea Party und Occupy Wall Street: Warum die Amerikaner so sind wie sie sind” (The contradictory United States – between religion and enlightenment, between Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street: why the Americans are what they are). The commentary links current political events to American history and American sensibilities in an impressive way.

Arthur F. Burns Prize

The Arthur F. Burns Prize was established in 1994 by the Federal Foreign Office and the Board of Trustees of the International Journalists’ Programmes (IJP), and is awarded annually to a German and an American alumnus of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program; it is awarded for outstanding reporting on political, economic or social issues in the other country or on German-American relations.

In addition, the IJP Board of Trustees annually confers the George F. Kennan Commentary Award for the best German-language commentary on transatlantic issues.

Both awards are endowed with 2000 euros.

Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program, named after the deceased US Ambassador to Germany and former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, has been organized by the International Journalists’ Programmes (IJP) since 1988. Each year, the Program enables ten German and ten American journalists to work for several months for a renowned newsroom in the other country. The patrons of the Program are the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States and the American Ambassador to Germany. The Program is also supported by German and American enterprises.