Otto-Brenner-Preis for Critical Journalism
Students of Journalism and Mass Communication are regularly involved in a voluntary project to preselect candidates for the Otto Brenner Preis für kritischen Journalismus, a famous journalism award in Germany. Established in 2005 and endowed with €47,000, the award recognizes outstanding work in the press, radio, television, web media, and books. More than 600 journalists apply every year.
Under the guidance of jury member Volker Lilienthal, the students read, watch, or listen to all the entries and form an opinion whether they might be worthy of the prize. The preselected entries are short-listed with a brief review written by the students. This short list provides important support to the jury in its decision about distributing the prize money across various categories. Besides Lilienthal, the jury members are freelance journalist Brigitte Baetz; Nicole Diekmann, ZDF Capital City Studio correspondent; Jörg Hofmann, Chair, Supervisory Board of the Otto Brenner Foundation and Chair, IG Metall; Henriette Löwisch, Director, Deutsche Journalistenschule (DJS); Prof. Dr. Heribert Prantl, author and columnist, Süddeutsche Zeitung; and Harald Schumann, Special Assignment Editor, Tagesspiegel.
The project’s educational value for the students lies in their becoming acquainted with research methods, patterns of presentation, and motivations of high-quality journalism — an approach fostered in the classes taught at the Rudolf Augstein Endowed Professorship as well. The Otto Brenner Foundation, IG Metall’s Science Foundation, pays the students for their work selecting candidates and invites them to the award ceremony.