Winners of the 31st edition Lorenzo Natali Media Prize

The winners of this year’s edition of the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize, awarded by the European Commission, were announced at a ceremony hosted at the Solvay Library in Brussels.

The winners are:

For the International Prize:  the three journalists Carmen Victoria Inojosa, Claudia Smolansky and a third whose name cannot be disclosed for security reasons, were awarded the International Prize for their compelling article ‘Así funcionan las casas clandestinas de la Dgcim en Caracas‘ published in Their work exposed the harrowing reality of systematic persecution in Venezuela, targeting political opponents and their families with alarming impunity.

For the Europe Prize: Italian journalists Emanuela Barbiroglio and Stefano Valentino won with an article entitled ‘European green finance is paying for deforestation in Indonesia: the case of Michelin‘ published in VoxEurop. Their piece delved into the realm of sustainable development projects and green finance, shedding light on the fact that these initiatives can sometimes be deceiving. They highlighted a certified ‘green’ project by Michelin in Indonesia, revealing its potential contribution to the destruction of the rainforest, thus misleading environmentally conscious investors.

For the Best Emerging Journalist Prize: Sofia Savina was awarded this Prize for her investigative work on the reputation of the Russian military, particularly regarding incidents of murder and rape in Bucha, Kiev and in the Chernihiv region. Her impactful investigation ‘Not just Bucha. Here’s what happened outside Chernihiv‘ was published in IStories media.

The 2023 winners were chosen from a pool of over 1 000 submissions from across the globe. Following a pre-selection by four journalism schools – Universidade Catôlica Portuguesa (Portugal), Universidad de Navarra (Spain), Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (Lebanon), and Vesalius College (Belgium) – the winners were selected by a Grand Jury composed of 5 eminent international experts from the world of journalism:

  • Katia Brembatti, award-wining journalist, part of the leadership of the Abraji Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo and former journalism professor at Positivo University.
  • Naglaa Elemary, Professor at the Jordan Media Institute and the British University in Egypt in media and journalism studies, consultant for the Thomson Reuters Foundation;
  • Vânia Maia, award-winning journalist, member of the Media and Journalism Literacy Association (ALPMJ);
  • Syed Nazakat, award-winning journalist and the founder and CEO of DataLEADS;
  • Frederik Obermaier, book author and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter.

Signing of a new EU support to independence of media

At the ceremony, a Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA) Protecting Independent Media that will allow strategic cooperation with selected NGOs that work to protect media freedom and pluralism across the globe was signed with three leading consortia. The duration of the Partnership Agreement is four years and up to €20 million will be made available from the EU side in project grants.

The three consortia are:

  • BBC Media Action, WAN IFRA, Fondation Hirondelle, IFJ, ERIM, Sembramedia, MISA, Samir Kassir Foundation, ARIJ
  • Internews Europe, Article 19, Fojo Media Institute/Linnaeus University, Thompson Media, Transtele Canal France International
  • Stichting Free Press Unlimited, RSF, Deutsche Welle, International Media Support

The aim of the strategic partnership is to increase the resilience of journalists and media houses at risk, increasing their capacity to react and adapt appropriately to the inevitable changes in their environment. It also aims at providing young journalists, operating in difficult conditions, access to professional development and learning opportunities, including in the field of digital technologies.


The Prize is named in honour of Lorenzo Natali, former Vice-President of the European Commission and a tireless advocate for freedom of expression and human rights. This award has been celebrating journalistic excellence since 1992.

It recognises the work of editors and reporters from around the world who have made an extraordinary contribution to the profession and have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the fundamental values of journalism, addressing crucial issues such as the human impact of inequality, poverty and climate change, as well as the importance of education and the value of human rights in our society.


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