Vienna, 24 September 2003 - Josef Kirchengast, editor of the Austrian daily "Der Standard", will be awarded this year's Euro 4,000 Austro-Polish Prize for Journalism. This was the decision reached by the jury which convened on 24 September 2003 at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vienna. During its meeting the jury also decided to honour Martyna Czarnowska ("Wiener Zeitung") and Markus Greussing (ORF television) for their journalistic activities in the field of Polish-Austrian relations. The members of the jury also expressed their special thanks and recognition for the comprehensive coverage of the "Polish Year in Austria" by the ORF and in the other electronic and print media.
The Austro-Polish Prize for Journalism was jointly initiated by the Foreign Ministers of Poland and Austria on 17 July 2001. The award is presented for journalistic contributions in the print media, television and radio that promote improved mutual understanding of political, economic and cultural life in Poland and Austria and help to dismantle misunderstandings and prejudices regarding the respective other country. The principal aim of the Prize for Journalism is to provide the public in both Austria and Poland with more information about the respective partner state.
The Prize, which is sponsored by Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) and its Polish subsidiary Bank Przemyslowo-Handlowy PBK (BPH-PBK), was awarded this year for the third time. The Austrian members of the jury were Burkhard Bischof (editor of the Austrian daily "Die Presse"), Veit Sorger (Chief Executive of Frantschach AG and Vice-President of the Federation of Austrian Industry), Erhard Stackl (editor-in-chief of the "Der Standard") and Georg Weiss (Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Poland). Members of the jury representing Poland at the meeting were Irena Lipowicz (Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Austria), Maciej Dobrzanski (Polish Confederation of Private Employers), Adam Krzeminski (editor of the Polish weekly "Polityka") and Andrzej Ziemski (journalist and Deputy-Chairman of the Polish Journalists' Association).
The Austro-Polish Prize for Journalism was created with the intention of intensifying Austro-Polish relations, promoting greater awareness and knowledge of the respective other country and fostering a positive climate of understanding between Poland and Austria. The Prize is awarded annually on an alternating basis, one year to a Polish journalist (in Vienna) and the next to an Austrian one (in Warsaw). The Prize is presented in recognition of outstanding journalistic coverage of topics concerning Poland and Austria, particularly those connected with the European integration process.