Nannen debate accompanies journalism award ceremony

star editor-in-chief Schmitz

stern editor-in-chief Gregor Peter Schmitz speaks during the presentation of this year’s “Stern Prize” in the Hamburg restaurant Hobenköök. Photo: Georg Wendt/dpa

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A report about the Nazi past of the “Stern” man Henri Nannen comes up. Publisher and magazine rename the Nannen Prize once. Nannen is a topic at the award ceremony, but not only.

In the midst of a debate about Nazi past of the former “Stern” man Henri Nannen, the well-known journalism award was presented this time under a different name.

With the renaming to «Stern Price», the publishing house Gruner + Jahr and the Stern magazine, which belongs to the company, wanted to defuse the debate about Nannen and focus on the award winners. Nannen was still an issue several times on Wednesday evening in Hamburg.

Smaller frame than usual

The Chairman of the “Stern” Editor-in-Chief, Gregory Peter Schmitz, said at the start: “Perhaps we all didn’t look closely enough. And sometimes you need impulses from the outside to take a closer look and there was.” The publishing house announced the one-off renaming last week. Schmitz also said that there is no alternative prize trophy yet, this will be given to the winners later. The location was also much smaller this time than at previous awards.

In May, a contribution of the research format “STRG_F” des North German Radio (NDR) with details on the past of the ex-“Stern” editor-in-chief and magazine initiator Nannen (1913-1996) in the Second World War initiated the debate.

Gruner + Jahr announced that a committee would be appointed to decide on the future use of the name for the award and for the Henri-Nannen-School will act in an advisory capacity. A decision will be made by the end of the year. Nannen’s widow Eske Nannen also said a few days ago that an external historian should scientifically review the life story.

“The Hanau Protocols” best report

The coveted journalism prize was awarded in several categories in the evening. Timofey Neshitov and Özlem Gezer won the supreme discipline “Egon Erwin Kisch Prize” for the best report with their “Spiegel” report “The Hanau Protocols”. On February 19, 2020, a German shot nine people in Hanau, Hesse, for racist motives. The team of journalists spoke to relatives.

As “Story of the Year”, the jury honored the reporting by the then Ippen investigative team and by “Spiegel” colleagues on the case of the former “Bild” editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt. “Why Julian Reichelt had to go” by Isabell Huelsen, Juliane Löffler, Anton Rainer, Alexander Kühn, Martin U. Müller, Daniel Drepper, Katrin Langhans and Marcus Engert appeared in “Spiegel”.

The case is about allegations of abuse of power against the ex-editor-in-chief of Germany’s largest tabloid, Reichelt finally had to leave the Axel Springer group. The reporting also received a lot of attention in the media industry because the Ippen team was unable to publish its research in its own media after the Ippen publisher intervened and then teamed up with the “Spiegel” colleagues.

Special prize for Stephan Lamby

The journalists Stella Vespermann, Andreas Neumann and Sebastian Manz won in the “Local” category with an article on discrimination when looking for a flat. This appeared on Radio Bremen.

In the “Investigative” category, the team of authors John Goetz, Bastian Berbner, Ole Pfluger, Ben Hopkins, Sabine Korbmann, Barbara Biemann, Johanna Leuschen, Kathrin Bronnert, Lukas Augustin, Poul-Erik Heilbuth, Dietmar Schiffermüller, Volker Steinhoff, Stefan Buchen and Gunnar Krupp for the documentary “Slahi and his torturers” about a Guantanamo prisoner. It ran on several ARD channels.

The well-known documentary filmmaker Stephan Lamby, who was connected via video, received a special award from “Stern”.