Bayeux War Correspondents Prize: for the first time, a winner must remain anonymous

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The winners of the Bayeux-Calvados-Normandy War Correspondents Prize were appointed on Saturday evening. The 28th edition was launched on Monday October 4, 2021. On the competition side, 50 written reports, photos, radio, TV were selected. Ten winners were awarded in front of an audience of 1,500 people.

The Bayeux War Correspondents Prize on Saturday for the first time crowned a winner who must remain anonymous for his safety, after a report in his country in Burma. “We all agreed” to award the prize in the photo category to this report published by the New York Times, and produced by a professional, told AFP the president of the jury of the 28th Bayeux Prize, the major reporter Franco-Iranian Manoocher Deghati.

The jury wanted to highlight “the conditions in which work (in Burma, editor’s note) very young photographers, professionals or amateurs, and the importance of the subject”, added its president, who had to flee in 1985 his country of origin, Iran, where his life was threatened. Some photos of the award-winning report are part of the “Myanmar Spring 2021” exhibition which is based on the work of several anonymous Burmese and is available until October 31 in the chapel of the Bayeux tapestry.
“Since the military coup, our journalists have not been safe for a second. I have been living in a hiding place since February 1,” according to a written testimony from one of them presented at the exhibition.

This award “shows that photography is becoming something more important in our life because everyone takes photos, citizen journalists, it is really very positive”, added Mr. Deghati.

Wolfgang Bauer receives two awards in print media

In the written press, Wolfgang Bauer, born in 1970, received both the International Jury Prize, chaired by Manoocher Deghati, and the Ouest-France Jean Marin Prize. Already crowned in Bayeux in 2016 for a report in Nigeria, he is this time rewarded for an article published by the German newspaper Zeit magazin, “Among Taliban” (“Among the talibans”).
It is a report which “analyzes well the strategy of the Taliban”, their advance “kilometer by kilometer”, “village by village” from the mountains where they were withdrawn since 2001, explained Mr. Deghati.

Bosnians Damir Sagolj and Danis Tanovic won both the award in the Large Format television category, and in the Video Image category. They are rewarded for “When we were them” (“When we were them”), a report with “a lot of means”, according to the president of the jury, on the thousands of migrants lost in the north of Bosnia-Herzegovina and broadcast on Al Jazeera Balkans.

Underground journalism in Belarus

“We had a debate (…) Some people said + it’s more cinema + (than reporting, editor’s note). But in my opinion it gives more value” to the subject, said Mr. Deghati.

In radio, the International Jury Prize is awarded to Margaux Benn for “In Kandahar, entire villages have become mined land”, an “enlightening” report, according to the president of the jury, broadcast on Europe1.

On TV, it is attributed to Orla Guerin and Goktay Koraltan for “Snipers in Yemen” broadcast on the BBC. They also receive the high school student prize. “It’s an incredible story of snipers shooting at children. It’s horrible,” Deghati said.
The Young Reporter Prize (written press) was won by Thomas D’Istria for “Revolution in the last dictatorship of Europe”, a report in Belarus published by Le Monde. The winner is a student who has done underground journalism work for a year.

The People’s Choice Award went to Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, Reuters, for “Gaza: 11 days of bombing”.

Manoocher Deghati chaired a jury of around forty journalists, French and British. The prizes awarded are 3,000 or 7,000 euros depending on the category.

The Bayeux Prize is funded by the city of the same name, the Calvados department, the Normandy region and private partners.