Federal Foreign Office awards Arthur F. Burns Prize for Journalists

02.06.2010 - Press release

Today, Wednesday (2 June), the Federal Foreign Office will present the Arthur F. Burns Prize at this year’s annual dinner of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme.

Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will deliver the opening address at the event, while the guest of honour, his Polish counterpart Radosław Sikorski, will pay tribute to the prizewinner.After that, Hans-Ulrich Klose, Coordinator of German-American Cooperation, will hand over the 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 e.V. (IJP), and is awarded annually to German and American alumni of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme.It is awarded for outstanding reporting on political, economic, social or cultural 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 commentary on transatlantic issues.

This year’s Burns Prize winner is Roman Pletter, editor of the economic magazine “Brand Eins”, for his article entitled “Die grosse Landnahme: Besuche an Orten des Widerstandes” (“The Big Land-Grab: Visiting Pockets of Resistance”), published in January 2010, on protests in the USA against the millions of cases where banks have repossessed people’s land, ejected them from their homes, and compulsorily auctioned houses. Mr Pletter’s research-intensive and vivid portrayal won over the jury.Using precise and tense language, Mr Pletter gives the reader a detailed insight into America’s current emotional state.

This year’s winner of the George F. Kennan Commentary Award is Roger Cohen, for many years the New York Times’ Berlin correspondent and columnist for the International Herald Tribune in Paris,for his analytical article entitled “German Angst”, which appeared in the magazine section of the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 20 March 2009.

In his article Mr Cohen examines the transatlantic relationship in a convincing and surprising way by comparing the changes in German-US relations with the changes in the way the Anglo-American term “German angst” is used. Mr Cohen will be receiving the Award for the second time.The German Ambassador in the USA, Klaus Scharioth, will present the Award at the end of July during the Arthur F. Burns Dinner in Washington.

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme, named after the deceased US Ambassador to Germany and former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, has been organized by the IJP since 1988.Each year, the programme enables ten German and ten American journalists to work for several months on the editorial staff of a renowned media organization in the other country.

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