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International dialogue forum involving President Obama and UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon kicks off with unveiling of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s regional media prize.

On the opening morning of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations Forum, the world’s premier event and gathering for intercultural dialogue, the 2009 edition of the Mediterranean Journalist Award was officially launched.

The Award, the region’s leading prize for journalists reporting across cultures and on issues of cultural diversity, has been expanded for the first time to involve radio, television and blogs, as well as introducing a special recognition for conflict reporting following the war in Gaza.

Speaking at the official launch event, European Union Commissioner Jan Figel said: “Journalists today play a crucial role in presenting an insight into to the diverse cultures of our region and bridging the gap in mutual perceptions. The Mediterranean Journalist Award is a unique way to recognise and encourage this essential area of work.”

The Journalist Award was first launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation and International Federation of Journalists in 2006 and has already engaged contributions from a range of Mediterranean countries, including Slovenia, Italy, Palestine, Israel and Egypt.

For the 2009 edition, the Award is being expanded through new collaborations with the COPEAM Audio-visual Network, Euro-Med Media Task Force and UN Alliance of Civilisations, and is now open to journalists from all 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

"More than ever today, the task of reporting on the diverse elements of our communities, as well as the complexities of conflicts and wars in the region, is a great challenge which needs to be supported," said Paul Walton, Communication Manager of the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Note for Editors
The journalist award is open from 6 April to 15 July 2009. Journalists who are nationals of the 43 member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean are invited to apply.

For further information:
Anna Lindh Foundation
Ingy Sedky
Tel: 0020 34820342
Email: ingy.sedky@bibalex.org
Web: www.euromedalex.org/journalist-award

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