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Federal Foreign Office awards German US prize for journalists

30.05.2018 - Press release

State Secretary Walter Lindner, on behalf of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, will honour this year’s recipients of the Arthur F. Burns Prize for journalism in Berlin on 30 May 2018. The awards are being presented at the annual dinner of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme, in the atrium of Deutsche Bank in Berlin.

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 one German and one North American alumnus of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme 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 commentary on transatlantic issues. Each winner will receive 2000 euros.

This year’s recipients are Roman Deininger, a Süddeutsche Zeitung correspondent, for his article “Sag die Wahrheit” (Tell the truth), which appeared on 22 April 2017, and Colorado-based freelance journalist Vauhini Vara, for her essay in the December edition of “The Atlantic” entitled “Can Unions Stop the Far Right?”

At the dinner, the IJP, this time with no FFO involvement, also confers the George F. Kennan Commentary Award for articles by German and American journalists which look at transatlantic issues in especially insightful, professional and creative ways. The winner this year is the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Washington correspondent Hubert Wetzel, for his article “Drogen sind die neue Pest der USA” (Drugs are the US’s new plague), published on 4 August 2017.

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme, named after the deceased US Ambassador to Germany and former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, has been organised by the International Journalists’ Programmes since 1988. Each year, the programme enables ten German and ten American or Canadian journalists to work for several months on the editorial staff of a renowned media organisation in the other country. The patrons of the programme are the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States and the Canadian and American Ambassadors to Germany. The programme is sponsored by the German Government, as well as by German and North American companies.

Commenting on the event today, Walter Lindner, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, said:

Since 1988 the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme has played an extremely important part in fostering transatlantic exchange and mutual understanding. Today it is more important than ever to explain things, to promote understanding and to establish or nurture personal contacts. And that is precisely what the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Programme, which is after all directed at multipliers, has been doing in exemplary fashion for thirty years now.

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