SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

The EU launches the15th edition of the Samir Kassir Award

Tuesday , 25 February 2020
During a press conference held on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Ralph Tarraf launched the 15th edition of the "Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press" together with Ms Gisèle Khoury-Kassir, President of the Samir Kassir Foundation, former winners of the Award, and representatives from the Lebanese media.
The "Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press", which has been awarded by the European Union since 2006, honours the Lebanese journalist and writer Samir Kassir who was assassinated in 2005. The competition for the Award has attracted since its creation more than 2,500 candidates the Middle East, the Gulf and North Africa.
Ambassador Tarraf reaffirmed the commitment made by the European Union 15 years ago to pursue Samir Kassir's struggle for free speech and an independent free press. He added that "freedom of expression lies at the core of the European Union values, and we are strongly committed to defend independent media and protect press freedom and media pluralism".
Ms Khoury added: “No country can truly address the challenges facing our societies without transparency, without freedom of thought and expression. Autocratic regimes claim to be providing stability, but we do not accept the factitious choice between stability and freedom.” She also recalled Samir Kassir’s call to the citizens of the region, in 1995, to “break the walls of silence.”
The contest is open to candidates from North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. The deadline for sending in contributions is 1 April 2020. Three awards will be granted for the best:
  • Opinion Article
  • Investigative Article
  • Audiovisual News Report
The contributions must be centred on one or more of the following topics: rule of law, human rights, good governance, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, democratic development and citizen participation. The winner of each of the three categories will receive a prize of €10,000.
The jury will be composed of seven voting members from Arab and European media and one observer representing the European Union. The names of the jury members will be communicated during the prize-awarding ceremony which will take place on 1 June 2020 in Beirut, on the eve of the 15th anniversary of Samir Kassir’s assassination.
The contest regulations, application forms and details of the candidature file are available on the following website:
Information for candidates
Completed applications with all submission materials must be sent by 1 April 2019 at the latest by online application on
The contest is open to all journalists working in or for (daily, weekly, monthly print or online) press or audiovisual media (TV stations, production houses, and online TV networks), nationals of the eligible countries, whose list is available on the website.
Candidates must submit an opinion article, an investigative article, or an audiovisual report centred around one or more of the following topics: rule of law, human rights, good governance, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, democratic development, and citizen participation.
Articles must have been published in a print or online media outlet in one of the countries listed above or in one of the European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden). Submitted articles must not exceed 25,000 characters and must have been published between 15 March 2019 and 15 March 2020.
Audiovisual News Reports must have been aired on a local or satellite television network or released on an online television network in one of the countries listed above or in one of the European Union Member States. Submitted reports must not exceed seven minutes and must have been released between 15 March 2019 and 15 March 2020.
Candidates for the Opinion Article and Investigative Article categories can only apply on an individual basis. Candidates for the Audiovisual News Report category must either be the report’s director or the producer and may apply on an individual basis or jointly (director and producer).
The winner in each of the three categories will be awarded €10,000.
All rules and conditions of the contest are available on the website:
Registration closes on 1 April 2019.
For more information:
+32 496 129539

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