TV Fiction Jury Coordinator Thorsten Ritsch, Commissioning Editor, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen - ZDF


TV Fiction Jury Coordinator Thorsten Ritsch, Commissioning Editor, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen - ZDF

'Everybody talks about a new golden age of fiction producing. The growing streaming and on-demand market is challenging the old players. On one hand, it can be frightening. Audiences have more possibilities to choose than ever before. On the other hand, for us as fiction producers, it brings the chance to tell stories in ways we did not dare to tell them just a few years ago.'

After studying journalism, Thorsten Ritsch realised that he prefers pure fictional storytelling over writing journalistic texts. So he got himself several almost unpaid internships on different film sets and learned about filmmaking and storytelling hands-on. Later, he worked as a junior producer for several production companies and became commissioning editor for German Television ZDF in 2006. Since then he is responsible for developing and producing TV movies and series, e.g. the PRIX EUROPA 2013 winner of Best European TV Fiction Series: ‘Generation War’.

In 2018 Thorsten Ritsch will again coordinate the TV Fiction Jury Group.









Carsten Dufner, Head of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk - MDR KLASSIK digital will coordinate the Radio Music Jury Group


Carsten Dufner, Head of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk - MDR KLASSIK digital will coordinate the Radio Music Jury Group

‘The Category “Radio Music” is a special one. It’s not ‘only’ about making good programmes (which is hard enough!) but about innovative approaches to presenting music in radio. Last year a broad variety of extremely interesting new productions appeared, making one of the oldest elements of radio one of the most exciting. I am very much looking forward to listening to many compelling music programmes also in 2018!’

'I have worked as a journalist, producer and music manager and am currently Head of MDR Klassik digital at Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. After studying Musicology, History of Art, Theatre, TV and Film in Cologne, I trained as a journalist at Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Stuttgart. I worked as a freelance journalist for Deutschlandfunk in Cologne from 1986 to 1990, followed by seven years of being executive producer for the Stuttgart Radio Symphony. 1997/98 I became executive producer of the multimedia activities at SDR, and then Deputy Head of the multimedia department at Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden. From 1999 to 2008 I was Head of Music at Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt and then became Head of Music and Production of MDR’s music ensembles. Since 2016, I am responsible for MDR Klassik (digital radio programme, streaming, web service, social media). I have also been working with the EBU for 28 years.






Soila Valkama, Producer and Director at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company

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Soila Valkama, Producer and Director at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company

'Fiction brings things and events into close perspective, radio fiction being its most intimate form. Associative soundscapes breed images, using the listener’s own mind as the source. I strongly believe in radio fiction.
Listening to radio fiction is becoming increasingly popular.
People are so exposed to visual impulses every day, that radio fiction as a form of storytelling gives them something else, something which is more personal and accessible.
The auteurs it challenges into constantly exploring new techniques, driving them to finding ways to create even more fascinating soundscapes.'

Soila Valkama is a director, a dramaturge and an actress. She taught radio directing, acting and dramaturgy at the University of Birzeit on the West Bank in 1998 and has worked as a director, dramaturge, producer and as a programme developer with Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company since 1999. 

She will coordinate the Radio Fiction Jury Group.


PRIX EUROPA is looking for the best of Radio and Digital Audio – Made in Europe.

PRIX EUROPA is looking for entries, which by the quality of their content and form equally convince audiences and professionals. The programmes should bear the cultural imprint of their place of origin, yet also reach people of other cultures, thus making them suitable to be broadcast outside of the country in which they were produced.






Manuel Thalmann, Head of development at young audience department of SRF / SRG SSR

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Manuel Thalmann, Head of development at young audience department of SRF / SRG SSR

"I really think that there are very high levels of creativity out there at the moment. As a digital format developer, I find the times we are living in on one hand really challenging - with all the different platforms, algorithms and also all the bad content that is produced. But on the other hand, it is also incredibly fascinating and interesting to have all these different possibilities and distribution options, and to be able to try out highly innovative formats that were previously unthinkable. A crazy but still great time to work in public media!"

Manuel Thalmann began his career as a producer for a Swiss Music TV channel and has since worked for different Radio and TV-Stations all over Switzerland. For the past two years he has been in charge of the format development of the young audience department at SRF - producing and developing formats for young people in Switzerland - mainly web formats and formats for third party platforms. 

He will coordinate the Online Projects Jury Group together with Kåre Vedding Poulsen.


PRIX EUROPA is looking for online projects, which have vision, creativity and also public responsibility. Projects may include - among others - cross-platform projects, web-based productions and Apps. The entries will be judged on their ideas, the way they have been executed, their quality and their commitment to public values. The prize will be awarded to the project which best explores and uses the potential of the online media.






Diversity expert Daniela Drastata will chair the TV Iris Jury Group

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Diversity expert Daniela Drastata will chair the TV Iris Jury Group

The Croatian producer Daniela Drastata is joining our team this year as Coordinator of the TV Iris Jury Group. 

Daniela Drastata is a journalist and producer at HRT and currently chairlady of the Intercultural and Diversity Group of the EBU. She has been strongly involved in international documentary co-productions dealing with diversity and multicultural issues. For the second season, she works as an executive producer of the international series New Neighbours.

At HRT, Daniela works as an editor-in-chief, reporter and presenter of a weekly multicultural magazine and produces documentaries on human rights. For many years she has been running the HRT Diversity Department. She won couple of awards including one for best TV journalism in Croatia, 2017.

"My passion are documentary films on human rights... 

I know from the previous years that Iris brings together a lot of excellence and experience great film makers and great people! "

The TV Iris category invites programmes that deal explicitly with the culturally diverse character of European societies and contribute towards equality, understanding and tolerance between people of different origins, cultures and religions. TV Iris seeks to be an incentive for programme practitioners to devote their attention to the ethnic diversity aspect of European societies. Programmes can be fiction or documentaries, children or entertainment programmes, that have 'cultural diversity' as central theme.






We are delighted to introduce Paul Smith to you


We are delighted to introduce Paul Smith to you

The British radio producer Paul Smith is joining our team this year as Coordinator of the Radio Documentary Jury Group. Paul studied English at Cambridge and has a Master Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. In 2016 Paul Smith won the PRIX EUROPA - Best European Radio Music Programme of the Year with Philip Glass: Taxi Driver, produced for BBC Radio 4 & World Service. Paul has worked as a producer at 'Just Radio' but very recently started a new job at 'Somethin’ Else', another independent production company in London.






Call for proposals - European Journalist of the Year 2018


PRIX EUROPA the Continental Media Competition is looking for a European journalist who has gone out of her or his way to bring new voices into public debate.

Excellent journalism can highlight voices that are suppressed, misunderstood or just not commonly heard. Thus inspiring people with different experiences to talk - instead of just judging each other.

Journalism, seeking to reflect more voices, leads to better mutual appreciation and maintains the grounds of a healthy democracy.

Proposals from all genres and formats of journalism are welcome. We are not necessarily looking for a person with continent-wide fame, but rather for a person who has gone outside her/his comfort zone and shown extraordinary creativity, courage and impact on her/his specific society or audience.

Please propose your candidates for the PRIX EUROPA Award as European Journalist of the Year 2018 by sending her/his professional cv and attaching a short explanation for your proposal.

mail to:

Deadline: 15 September 2018.




«No» to «No Billag»: a vote of confidence that puts us under an obligation


Today the voters clearly rejected the «No Billag» initiative at the ballot box.

The result is especially pleasing for the SRG SSR because it was confirmed in all linguistic regions of Switzerland. In the light of the heated debate that has taken place, today marks a new beginning for the SRG, and one that comes with clear expectations: Switzerland’s public media company will have to adapt to a new financial framework and meet society’s new needs.

Read more here

Best European Radio Documentary featured on Radio Atlas


If you can’t speak German, you might be happy to hear: Christian Lerch’s winning documentary is available on Radio Atlas with English subtitles in its original form.

The Radio Documentary Jury recognised ‘‘Papa, We Are In Syria’ - Joachim Gerhard’s Search for Lost Sons and Holy Warriors’ as ‘a story of our time’.
The praise continued: ‘a thrilling 21st century tale told through a treasure trove of audio messages, this documentary takes the listener inside the nucleus of a personal family tragedy set in the defining story of our generation.’

Find more information about the winner of the Best European Radio Documentary of the Year 2017, as well as other PRIX EUROPA 2017 winning productions, here.

Radio Atlas is an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world. It is a place to hear inventive documentaries, dramas and works of sound art that have been made in languages you don’t necessarily speak.
It has made several audio works which were nominated for or won PRIX EUROPA available to broader audiences.

Radio Atlas itself received a Special Commendation in PRIX EUROPA 2016 Digital Audio category.

Kim Wall Memorial Fund


‘We can never get Kim back, but we can see to it that her spirit and will live on, and inspire other young journalists to go out in the world and find the stories,’

said the parents of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, nominated last year for the PRIX EUROPA Outstanding Achievement Award. ‘More than ever, we need brave female journalists who give voice to the people that normally never hit the front pages.’

The Kim Wall Memorial Fund was created by The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), in partnership with Kim’s family and friends. Through the fund they seek to help other women with Kim’s adventurous spirit chase down important and underreported stories - the kind of stories Kim loved.

The Kim Wall Memorial Fund will distribute one $5,000 grant once a year. Winners will be paired with a mentor to assist them in their reporting.
Application deadline is 2 February 2018.

For all information visit the International Women’s Media Foundation’s (IWMF) website:

Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) under threat


Ten Directors-General of public service companies in Europe sign statement in support of Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).

In a statement, published on 10 January 2018, Directors-General of ten of Europe’s most renowned public service broadcasters warn that proposed cuts of up to 25 percent could have significant and far-reaching consequences for DR’s ability to operate as a public service broadcaster.

In the letter the signatories also point out the important role that public service broadcasters play in a time of “increased polarisation and greater alienation between different groups in society. Against this background the importance of well-functioning, trusted public service broadcasters, side-by-side with high quality commercial media, can hardly be stated too clearly.”

It is also important to put this discussion in a broader European perspective. The signatories write: “free and independent journalism around the world is under greater pressure than it has been for a long time……increasingly authoritarian regimes in some parts of Europe have made public service broadcasters subject to comprehensive changes. For the time being two of the most troublesome cases are Hungary and Poland. It is no coincidence that both countries have plunged down the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index in recent years. ……The choice that Danish politicians must make when it comes to public service broadcasting can be seen in many other countries around Europe: Whether to cut budgets and increase the risk of political control; or to secure long-term funding and build up greater and more effective safeguards for the independence and stability of public service broadcasting. That the latter would promote democracy hardly needs to be pointed out.”

The signatories to the statement are:

Tony Hall, BBC (UK)
Thor Gjermund Eriksen, NRK (Norway)
Magnus Geir Thordarson, RUV (Iceland)
Gilles Marchand, SRG SSR (Switzerland)
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, ORF (Austria)
Shula Rijxman, NPO (Netherlands)
Hanna Stjärne, SVT (Sweden)
Per Bergkrantz, UR (Sweden)
Cilla Benkö, SR (Sweden)
Tom Buhrow, WDR (Germany)

Source and full text of the statement:,c2428703

2017 Winners & Special Commendations


14 joyous winners were awarded a bronze Taurus Trophy at the prize giving ceremony on Friday 20 October 2017.

For those who could not be there / missed the live-stream / want to see it again, the event is available as video-on-demand on the rbb homepage.
Here you can find the list of winners and special commendations, as well as the trailers of the winning productions.
If you’re interested in the top ranking in each category, download the PRIX EUROPA 2017 Winners List from the press material.

PRIX EUROPA Outstanding Achievement Award


On Friday 20 October 2017 Can Dündar was awarded as Best European Journalist of the Year.

Read the excerpt from the laudatory speech by Cilla Benkö, our Steering Committee President:

‘We are arrested’ – you tweeted on the 26 of November 2015, the day you were detained by the
Turkish police and thrown into prison for espionage and accused of being a member of a terrorist

It is on this day that it became obvious to you – and to the rest of the world – that you have to pay a price, a personal price, for doing your work. Your work which consists of searching for the truth as an independent journalist. Of telling the truth as you find it and of informing the world of your findings.

In 2014 you had found and reported on - secret and presumably illegal weapon deliveries to Syrian militia by the Turkish secret service MIT, a truth that was - to put it mildly - ‘uncomfortable’ to the Erdogan regime - and proved life-changing for you.

It is due to this article that you were charged with espionage and sentenced in May 2016 to 5 years and 10 months imprisonment for ‘revealing state secrets’. It is also in effect due to this article that you are now in exile here in Berlin.

As you yourself put it: ‘I had the choice between death and exile. I chose exile’.

You are nominally safe - guarded by security - but don’t feel secure when many within the German Turkish community believe the Erdogan propaganda according to which you are a national traitor. You have every reason to feel depressed and hopeless, to regret writing that article, to curse your fate and your countrymen. But you don’t! You continue. You campaign. You write and you fight - with a smile on your face!
You wrote a book, you write in newspapers, you write online – and you will not be stopped,
not be stopped in your attempt to reach and enlighten your fellow countrymen - and the rest of the world, not be stopped in your attempt to change things in Turkey.

PRIX EUROPA 2017 Awarding Ceremony



Watch the awarding ceremony on demand here! The live stream of the PRIX EUROPA 2017 Awarding Ceremony will start at 17:00 on Friday, 20 October:

Join your colleagues from all over Europe from the comfort of your home couch on this exciting moment and see who takes the trophies home!

The stream of the awarding ceremony will also be available on demand from 21:30.
The winners with credits and short trailers will be published on our website after the ceremony is over.

PRIX EUROPA 2017 Online Community Award!


We invite you to be part of the PRIX EUROPA 2017 from near and far. With this link you can access the voting platform of the PRIX EUROPA Community Award:

Please log in with the same email address you receive the newsletter with. In case you want to join the community please sign up for the newsletter list to gain access:

Sign up!
You can unsubscribe from this list at any time.

How does this work?

  • Feel free to vote for as many entries you like
  • 1 point is the lowest and 5 points is the highest
  • It is not possible to change your votes after you have given them, but you can logout and come back anytime you like until the voting is over and continue in case you did not vote for each piece.
  • The possibility to vote ends on 19 October 2017 at 20:00

The winner of this Community Award will be announced - as all other PRIX EUROPA winners - on 20 October 2017, Friday evening, 17:00.
The link for the live stream of the Awarding Ceremony will pop up here on the website.

We hope you have fun exploring the entries!

Nominations for Outstanding Achievement Award


In the past weeks we have received many proposals for the Award as Best European Journalist of the Year.

It is reassuring to know that everywhere on our continent there are outstanding journalists who are ready to leave their comfort zone.
Here is the list of the 31 candidates (alphabetically sorted):

  • AUBENAS Florence
  • BRÅNSTAD Johan
  • BUTTA Carmen
  • CHAUSSY Ulrich
  • DÜNDAR Can
  • GALLEGO Javier
  • HEIJNE Bas
  • KAMPHUIS Marco
  • KJERSGAARD Clement
  • MÅRTENS Ylva
  • MATTISON Karin
  • O’BRIEN Liam
  • ŘEZNÍčEK Martin
  • RIFATI Rexhep
  • SCHULZ Eva
  • SOLBERG Kristin
  • ŠTUKOVÁ Jarmila
  • VUCENOVIC Tamara
  • WALL Kim(Isabel Fredrika)
  • WALPOT Luc
  • YÜCEL Deniz

The winner will be announced at the PRIX EUROPA Awarding Ceremony on 20 October 2017.
If you want to connect the names with the faces, we have started publishing their photos and short descriptions on our brand new Instagram account – stay tuned!

Public meets media makers


Panel debate about the credibility of media, Saturday 14 October 2017 at noon, organised together with the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB)

How can viewers, listeners, readers get orientation in the globally networked media world? Buzzwords like “fake news” and “alternative facts” create uncertainty. Not all sources are reliable. How can the audience distinguish between invented and critically researched facts, between propaganda and information?

Join a public debate with:

Patricia Schlesinger, Director General of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, rbb
Eva Schulz, Social Media journalist (i.a. Deutschland3000, Hochkant)
Maximilian Popp, Turkey correspondent, “Der Spiegel”
Prof. Stephan Russ-Mohl, Director of the European Journalism Observatory and Professor of Journalism and Media Management at the University of Lugano
Joanna Stolarek, Journalist and board member of Neue Deutsche Medienmacher (New German Media Professionals)

The host is Christine Watty, moderator and reporter at Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Please register here.