Discovering Europe's next great journalists: the Megalizzi-Niedzielski Prize

Florin Rugina

We live in an age when the media face economic and political challenges, when young people are in doubt about choosing a path in journalism. The European Commission is striving to support future journalists in becoming or continuing to be deliverers of essential information to citizens, with all the benefits that this entails for European democracies.

The Megalizzi-Niedzielski prize encourages young Europeans to pursue their dream of a career in journalism and to cover the European Union. The prize honours the memory of Antonio Megalizzi and Bartek Pedro Orent -Niedzielsk i, young European journalists with a strong attachment to the EU and its values, who passed away after the terrorist attack in Strasbourg in late 2018.

The annual prize aims to reward and encourage promising journalists who share Antonio and Bartek's enthusiasm for the European project and EU regional policy in particular, and who have the potential to enable debates about the EU. The reason for this is that, the more critical, honest voices there are, the better the European project will become.

Bartek was born in 1983 in Katowice, Poland, and worked as a journalist and activist in Strasbourg. He hosted a radio programme and was a tour guide in the European Parliament. In Strasbourg, Bartek collaborated with the local press. He was involved in activities for ethnic, cultural and sexual minorities, including the LGBT movement, Yiddish culture and ecology. He was a polyglot, knowing at least seven languages, including English, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian and Yiddish.

Antonio was a volunteer journalist for Europhonica, a web radio station dedicated to Europe, his passion. A few minutes before the attack, he was at the European Parliament headquarters to do an interview.

Bartek and Antonio died in December 2018 after trying to stop a terrorist. According to friends, Bartek went to a concert on 11 December in a Strasbourg club. Before the concert began, he, Antonio and two musicians were standing in front of the entrance, smoking. When they saw a man with a gun, they rushed to stop him. Bartek and Antonio sustained gunshot wounds. According to some reports, the terrorist wanted to enter the club and, thanks to their intervention, the door was blocked and the attacker was prevented from entering.

the annual prize aims to reward and encourage promising journalists who share Antonio and Bartek's enthusiasm for the Europea n project and EU regional policy in particular

The European Parliament's radio studio in Strasbourg was named after Antonio Megalizzi and Bartek Niedzielski in January 2019.

Thanks to the Megalizzi-Niedzielski Prize, each year the enthusiasm of Antonio and Bartek for good journalism is passed on to two journalism students or young journalists in the hope that they will share Antonio and Bartek's dreams of high-quality, dedicated and honest young European journalism. In this way, their memory will continue to live on, inspiring a huge community of journalists across and beyond our continent.

Bartek and Antonio died in December 2018 after trying to stop a terrorist

The Megalizzi-Niedzielski Prize is part of the Youth4Regions programme, the Commission programme helping journalism students and young journalists to discover what the EU is doing in their region. The programme targets journalism students and journalists in their early careers. In 2021 the programme received 354 applications from the EU, candidate countries and neighbouring countries.

In total, 33 of the applicants are selected to come to Brussels during the #EURegionsWeek and follow dedicated training courses, work in the press room and visit EU media organisations. A jury selects two of the Yout h4Regions participants as the winners of the prize.

The winners of the 2019 prize were Karolína ?im ková and Tea Mihanovi?.

Karolína ?im ková is currently working for aktualne.cz in Czechia.

Tea Mihanovi? is working for Youth ProAktiv in Belgium .

Receiving the Megalizzi ? Niedzielski award, in Brussel s, was a great honour and an import ant recognit ion of my potential.

The winners of the 2020 prize are Anast asia Lopez and Francisco Sezinando:

Anastasia Lopez is working for ORF in Austria.

I stand f or diversity and equality in the hope of being in the future a journalist t hat report sf or people who don?t have a voice.

Fran cisco Sezinando is studying journalism in Lisbon.

It is a big recognit ion of my work and what I try to do: promote EU values, give voice tot he voicel ess and be a bet t er journalism to change t he soci et y.

This year ?s Megalizzi ? Niedzielski prize cerem ony takes place on Tuesday, 12 October, at 18:00 and can be followed live on the EU Regions? Week website: europa.eu/ regions-and-cities.

This article appears in the EURegionsWeek 2021 Issue of TerritoriALL

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This article appears in the EURegionsWeek 2021 Issue of TerritoriALL