Lettre d'information

The Bayeux-Calvados Awards

Chapeau

For the past 25 years, the town of Bayeux has hosted the annual ceremony of the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents. A tribute that is also written in stone with the memorial dedicated to war reports killed around the world that was inaugurated ten years ago.

Mémorial des reporters, Bayeux, Calvados
Texte

Memorial to Fallen Reporters, Bayeux, Calvados - © S. Guichard

 

Among the first towns liberated in France, Bayeux, in association with the Departmental Council of Calvados, launched an annual international event in 1994 timed with the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landing. The event consists of awarding a prestigious trophy to journalists from all over the world in four different media categories: written press, radio, TV and photography. In addition to awarding trophies, the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents organises a fascinating week of talks, Q&As, and debates with the public (for the young and not so young) as an opportunity to gain further insight into international affairs. The rich programme of events (evening gatherings, a book fair, exhibitions, etc.) approach well or lesser known conflicts to interpret the news and shine a light on the job of reporter, in the company of people who cover the planet’s hotspots all through the year. The groups of journalists who attend and the quality of the exchanges with TV, radio, press and photography reporters make the Bayeux-Calvados Awards an essential date in the media calendar.

This coming 8 to 14 October, the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents will be celebrating its 25th year. Twenty-five years of war reporting, testimonials on conflicts, crises or revolutions that A total 193 award-winning reports since 1994, from Bosnia to Chechnya via Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Syria and many others still... Winners include some of the top names in journalism: James Natchwey, Jean Hatzfeld, Nicolas Poincaré, Yuri Kozyrev, Santiago Lyon, Luc Delahaye, Javier Espinosa, Eric Bouvet, Gilles Jacquier, Grégoire Deniau, Christina Lamb, Jérôme Delay, Alan Little, Laurent Van der Stockt, Christophe Boltanski, Jeremy Bowen, Rémy Ourdan, Yannis Behrakis, Ayman Oghanna, Arnaud Comte, Lyse Doucet…. Twenty-five years of paying tribute to these women and men who travel the globe, taking their lives into their own hands to witness and record, to share and to wake our consciences. In 2017, for the occasion of the awards ceremony, the president of the jury, Jeremy Bowen, reminded us of the important role of war correspondents: “Journalism is in a good state, a good position. The final choice, made by the jury composed of very experienced journalists, was the right one. It shows that there are some very brave, skillful and honest journalists who are working in some of the worlds most dangerous places. They are shining a light into the dark corners of the world and that is a very important thing to do".

To ensure the names of journalists killed while doing their jobs are never forgotten, the town of Bayeux, in collaboration with the association Reporters Sans Frontières, erected a memorial dedicated to remembering reporters killed around the world since 1944. “Its the only place in the world where my husbands name is etched in stone", said Michèle Montas, the widow of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique, speaking at the time of the inauguration of the first phase of inscriptions on 7 October 2006. This space, one of a kind in Europe, was opened in its finished state on 2 May 2007. It was designed and built by architect and landscape gardener Samuel Craquelin. It comprises a landscaped promenade, punctuated by 30 white stones on which are engraved the names of over 2,500 journalists who paid with their lives to keep us informed. “To want to be free is to also want others to be free", wrote Simone de Beauvoir. This concrete installation serves as an all-year reminder, beyond the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents, of the town's dedication to defending press freedom and democracy.


Auteur
Aurélie Viel - Head of Programming for the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents

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