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BBC journalist Shirin Wheeler receives the EP Prize for Journalism

Date

20 Oct 2008

Sections

Public Affairs
InfoSociety
Education
EU Priorities 2020

British journalist Shirin Wheeler (BBC The Record: Europe, made by BBC Parliament) won the first European Parliament Prize for Journalism (TV section) for the programme's significant contribution to the better understanding of major EU issues. On awarding the prize, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering said the in-depth reports on EU issues were "professional, accessible and accurate". The prize was presented in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels.

There were four different categories for the prize: written press, radio, TV and internet. Shirin Wheeler, a journalist for the BBC and one of seven prize winners, won the television category for her weekly EU politics programme The Record: Europe from Brussels and Strasbourg.
 
On receiving the prize, Ms Wheeler said: "It's lovely to get a prize for doing something you love so much. We invite people who are passionate about what the European Union is doing, and equally people who are passionate against about what the European Union is doing… we are  passionate about telling people what they are going to be voting for and with the run-up to the European elections that is more important than ever." Ms Wheeler thanked her BBC colleagues and in particular her producer Lucy Thomas as well as the Parliament's audiovisual department for its help in making the programme."
 
Rory Peck Trust
 
The winner of each category was awarded €5 000. Shirin Wheeler, on behalf of the BBC, will donate the  prize money to the Rory Peck Trust, a trust which offers grants to the families of freelance journalists killed or injured whilst on an assignment. The Trust also provides grants to freelancers for training. 
 
In his introductory speech, Hans-Gert Pöttering said the EU needs "critical but fair and objective voices" to help citizens understand the immediate impact the EU has on their lives. He said the European Parliament Prize for Journalism represents the freedom of the press, the pluralism of the media and independent reporting.
 
Profile of Shirin Wheeler
 
Shirin Wheeler is based in the BBC's Brussels bureau and presents the prize-winning The Record: Europe. Shirin was born in Berlin and educated in Washington DC, Brussels and Britain.  Shirin has been in Brussels since 1996, working mainly with BBC TV and radio.
 
The Prize        
 
The European Parliament Prize for Journalism is the first of its kind to be awarded to journalists who have dealt with major issues at a European level. It recognises their significant contribution to providing a better understanding of the EU institutions and/or EU policies.
 
The seven winners were chosen from 70 national winners by a jury composed of three MEPs and accredited journalists to EU institutions.
 
All 70 national winners were invited to attend the ceremony and panel discussion on the role of the media in providing better information for citizens on the EU institutions, and particularly the European Parliament.

(The Record: Europe is) made by BBC Parliament, also shown on the BBC's News channel and BBC World News on Saturdays at 15:30 CET and Sundays at 08:30 CET (from 26th October 10.30 CET)

Contact
Richard FREEDMAN and Karen LINDSAY
email: press-EN@europarl.europa.eu

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