BRUSSELS, DEC 10 2012 – A new generation of excellence in agricultural journalism was recognised last night, with the inaugural presentation of the European Young AgriJournalist Awards to winners and runners-up from five countries.
Organised by the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ) and DG Agri, the Awards seek out and reward journalists under the age of 35 working in agriculture in any one of the 17 member countries of ENAJ.
“At the end of a year celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy, it’s fitting that we have been able to honour the journalistic skills of these young people by inviting them to write about topics related to CAP and European agriculture,” says Katharina Seuser, vice-chairman of ENAJ and coordinator of the competition.
“All the entries were of an extremely high standard; it’s hugely reassuring to know that the future of agricultural journalism and communication in Europe is in safe hands as this new generation matures and hones their skills,” Dr Seuser enthuses.
Entries were invited to one of two categories, each with a crucial CAP theme: how young farmers start a new business, or environmentally sustainable farming. Crucially, entries invited could be unpublished; ENAJ felt the competition should try to recognise potential talent and ambition as well as those fortunate enough to be already working in agricultural journalism.
Andrea Bahrenberg, of the German farmers’ organisation DLV, was the winner in the ‘young farmers’ category, with an engaging story about a German farmer using vending machines to sell asparagus. Runners-up were Slovenia’s Katya Ertl and Spain’s Ruben Gonzalez.
There was another win for Germany in the second category, where Rica Hennings took home the prize for an insight into how the state of Schleswig Holstein is putting commercial timber extraction hand-in-hand with nature conservation. Runners-up were Italy’s Emanuele Isonio and Marine Balue from France.
“Journalists play an essential role in our industry, with a lot of responsibility: knowledge transfer, communicating new ideas, reporting CAP reform developments, and much more. As agriculture regains its position and standing in Europe, and as CAP reform promises to help drive Europe’s economy forward while also delivering food and environmental benefits, our profession promises a vibrant and exciting career option for young journalists,” Dr Seuser concludes.