The first prizewinner of the award, which recognizes excellence in independent reporting on Tibet and is conferred by an independent jury, was Austrian journalist Mara Simperler for her article “Freedom in Flames” (“Freiheit in Flammen”) which appeared in the Austrian magazine “2012”. Simperler published in-depth interviews with three Tibetans in exile in Dharamsala. Winner of the 2nd prize was German China correspondent Bernhard Bartsch for his article in the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” entitled “Buddha in the heart” (“Mit Buddha im Herzen”) which focused on Chinese interest in Tibetan Buddhism. For the second year running, ICT Germany awarded a research grant for a promising proposal by a young journalist; this year it was awarded to German journalist Nathalie Nad-Abonji for her proposal on Tibetan refugee children in Switzerland.
The ‘Snow Lion’ award jury comprises German journalists Eva Corell and Andreas Lorenz, as well as German actor, filmmaker and author Hannes Jaenicke. At the award ceremony in Berlin, German journalist Thomas Franke presented the ceremony, leading a discussion on how to report on Tibet at a time of lockdown and in a climate of fear.
Chinese author Liao Yiwu, 2012 winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, also spoke about how information and propaganda is a ‘battlefield’ in China, about the dangers of present policy in Tibet, and his hopes for the future of Tibet including the importance of the Karmapa as a leading cultural figure in exile.
ICT Communications Director Kate Saunders, based in London, discussed the difficulties, and the importance, of reporting from Tibet. She outlined how sources of information are shifting, and the breath-taking courage of Tibetan sources who want to ensure that their experiences and views are not distorted by Chinese representations.
During the ceremony, which was also attended by a delegation of Tibetan Parliamentarians from Dharamsala led by Speaker Penpa Tsering, German actress Inés Burdow read an unpublished poem written by Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser, sent to Berlin for the ceremony.
Previous awardees were German journalists Christine Adelhardt and Andreas Hilmer (both 2012) and radio journalist Kai Adler (2011). The award is endowed with 2,000 and 1,000 Euro.