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EJC grantees win Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for outstanding reporting on development

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, 15 January 2016

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is proud to announce that Jacopo Ottaviani and Isacco Chiaf, grantees of the Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) Grant Programme, have won with their "E-waste Republic" project the 2015 edition of the reputable Lorenzo Natali Media Prize of the European Commission, in the category Professional Journalism, the Arab World and the Middle East.

According to Caroline Giraud, Grand Jury Member, Global Forum for Media Development: “The piece has the potential to be empowering because it will make European viewers think about what they do with their waste. It portrays a good mix of issues including environment, health and development.”

The Prize winners have been awarded during a prestigious Awards Ceremony that took place on 14 January 2016 in Brussels. EJC Director Wilfried Ruetten accepted the award in the name of Jacopo Ottaviani and read the following message on his behalf:

“I warmly thank the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize jury and the European Commission for this award. We are honored to appear among the best journalists in the world with "E-waste Republic", a long form reportage that focuses on problems and solutions connecting data and on the ground evidences. I also warmly thank the EJC without which this project wouldn't be possible."

On his side, Wilfried Ruetten mentioned the following:

“We are extremely proud that Jacopo Ottaviani and Isacco Chiaf have been recognised with such a prestigious award for their work on development storytelling. This award is a result of the passion and commitment of two very dedicated professionals: a freelance journalist and a freelance graphic designer. This team composition highlights the importance of cross-disciplinary cooperation between journalists and technologists in creating powerful visual storytelling meant to inspire and create a public impact. With “E-waste Republic”, the team managed to produce innovative reporting that operates on the crossroads between investigative, constructive and visual journalism. We are very happy to having been able to support the team with a reporting grant. In 2016 we will continue supporting development journalism through EJC’s Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme.”

(c) European Commission

The multimedia project “E-waste Republic” has been developed by freelance data journalist Jacopo Ottaviani and freelance graphic designer Isacco Chiaf with the support of a €16.000 reporting grant from the EJC. The project has been developed as an immersive, constructive, multilingual data-driven storytelling on electronic waste and has been published in 2015 by Internazionale, Al Jazeera English, One World. The “E-waste Republic” project aims to achieve multiple goals: to raise awareness about e-waste, to provide concrete solutions that reduce e-waste, to increase recycling and also to create jobs, to bind data with reality and human stories and to connect evidences to a global view of the phenomenon.

Jacopo Ottaviani is a three-times winner of the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme. Other projects of his include “Investigation of Land Grabbing in Africa” and the upcoming “Lungs of the Earth”, which will produce a data-driven story on forests, deforestation and reforestation in the world.

Isacco Chiaf has participated as a team member in many winning projects of the IDR Grant Programme. He developed the graphic and web design as well as video and photography on such projects as “Fish for Cheap”, “Invisible Killer”, etc.

Journalists and media organisations interested in breaking away from development journalism stereotypes are encouraged to pitch EJC their creative ideas in the seventh round of applications. The deadline to apply is 2 March 2016 (22:00 CET). For questions, check the FAQ guide or send an email to: [email protected].

The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development since 1992 and honours journalists from across the world for their outstanding reporting on issues related to development and poverty eradication. The 2015 edition of the ‘Lorenzo Natali Media Prize’ was launched under the motto “Today's stories can change our tomorrow” as part of the 2015 European Year for Development.

Note for editors:

The Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme was launched in January 2013 by the EJC with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to reward quality journalism and advance a new and distinctive agenda for development coverage through awarding funding to a selection of state-of-the-art reporting projects of great impact and high visibility. Since 2013, the programme has granted funding to 82 projects.

The IDR Grant Programme has received $1,785,000 for the period of 2015 and 2016 that will be awarded to innovative journalistic projects centered on global development topics. In 2016, the programme will run two rounds of applications and organise two boot camp style trainings tailor-made for the winners of each round.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media. This mission has two main aspects: On the one hand, it is about safeguarding, enhancing, and future-proofing quality journalism in Europe and on the other hand, it is about supporting initiatives towards press freedom in emerging and developing countries. This often includes creating the framework conditions for independent and self-determined journalism in the first place. To these ends, the EJC provides thematic training, professional capacity development, and a wide range of support activities for journalists.


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