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Zolote Pero — Golden Pen Prizes for journalists

 

On March 1, 2008, the Zolote Pero award ceremony was held at the Zhovtnevy Palats (October Palace) Culture Center in Kyiv.

 

The Zolote Pero awards were presented to “the best of the best” representatives of Ukrainian and foreign media.

The awardees were greeted by prominent cultural, business and political figures, as they handed out awards in the shape of golden quills and other honors to the winners. In what has become a well-established tradition, Ukrainian and foreign pop stars energized the award ceremony with their performances.

The media have come to play a very important, if not, one of the most important roles in the life of modern Ukrainian society — a role that is highlighted by the Zolote Pero contest.

Zolote Pero, which ascertains the rating of different media, was launched in 1999 and has been held annually ever since. It has also developed an international side, with Russian, Georgian, Byelorussian and Polish journalists being awarded. Neither political ups and downs, nor any other disruptive circumstances in the life of Ukraine have changed the commitments of the contest’s founders to promote the media’s role in Ukraine by awarding and encouraging the best media representatives. The contest’s principle organizer has invariably been the Center of Social and Political Studies, a public organization. The Center expressed its gratitude to all those who had shown an interest in this year’s Zolote Pero, and those who had provided logistical and financial support.

For the contest, the best journalists and media are determined through independent polls conducted throughout Ukraine and through monitoring surveys held among Ukrainian citizens. This year, representatives from more than 50 print periodicals, radio and TV stations took part in the contest.

Prizes were awarded in nine nominations. In the “Best News Shows” nomination, the winners were TV Station 24 and Radio Liberty with their joint project “Rankova Svoboda” (“Radio Liberty in the Morning”). Among “political analysis projects,” awards went to Oleksandr Prohnymak’s play “Ihry Oliharkhiv” (“Tycoons’ Games”) and Savik Shuster’s show “Svoboda” (“Freedom”). Other efforts that received awards included media projects for “social criticism and exposure,” such as the Vechirni Visti newspaper’s “Koruptsiya po-Ukrayinskomu” (“Corruption, Ukrainian-style”), and the Vechirniy Kyiv newspaper’s journalistic investigations into abuses of power by Kyiv City Administration officials.

I was surprised to see a prize awarded to the “Svitske Zhyttya” (“High Life”) show at Pershy Natsionalny Kanal (National TV Station 1) — I did not think this “glamour promotion” show really deserved a prize.

But the prize I supported wholeheartedly was the Silver Medal (no Gold Medals were awarded) presented to Oleksandr Horobets, head of the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Publishing House (incidentally, the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Publishing House already won two Zolote Pero awards in the past). The citation reads, in part, “For considerable contribution to the development of Ukrainian media.” This contribution includes the publication of two magazines — Mizhnarodny Turyzm (International Tourism, in Ukrainian) and Welcome to Ukraine (in English). Both magazines were founded in the early years of Ukrainian independence and have been leading magazines of their kind ever since. The award happened to coincide with Mr. Horobets’ 50th birthday and was thus an excellent birthday present.

 

By Viktor SYDORENKO

Photos provided by the organizers of the Zolote Pero contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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