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CIVIS – Welcoming message by Directors-General

In 2020, the awarding ceremony of the CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity had to change format, to steer clear of the virus threat: Instead of a gala in front of a live audience, the winners were honoured in a newly designed television programme. At the time, it was hard to imagine the pandemic would not be under control in 2021. Unfortunately, this was too optimistic.

It is still impossible to forecast when we can finally claim that the pandemic is behind us. But one thing is certain: the longer it dominates the headlines and the political agenda, the less society can afford to neglect other urging challenges, including those addressed by CIVIS. Therefore, the response to the CIVIS Media Prize 2021 is particularly welcome: almost 800 productions dealing with migration, integration and cultural diversity show how important these matters are to many media professionals.

And this is crucial. The coexistence of people from diverse backgrounds needs to be in the media spotlight. The media have to assess where it works well and where there are serious shortcomings. Racism, antisemitism and extremism must be investigated and exposed. And those fighting against it deserve special attention and support. We are called upon to report on successful examples of social cohesion as well as on cases of failure.

The European CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity encourages media professionals to take on these tasks. It pays tribute to those who make an outstanding contribution – be it on television, radio, the Internet or in the cinema – to rendering visible the many faces of the immigration society. To facilitating a fair public debate. And to promoting peaceful coexistence in a diverse society.

The Consortium of the Public Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany (ARD), represented by their president, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), the Swiss Radio and Television Corporation (SRG SSR), Deutsche Welle (DW), Slovenian Radio and Television (RTV Slovenia) and Deutschlandradio, each represented by their Intendants or General Directors, congratulate the nominees. We hope that the award ceremony will be a success. Due to Corona restrictions, it is going to be a tv programme again instead of a gala – but there will still be a lot to celebrate!

Tom Buhrow (Director General of WDR, Chairman CIVIS Board of Trustees)
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz (Director General of the Austrian public broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk)
Gilles Marchand (Director General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation)
Peter Limbourg (Director General of Deutsche Welle)
Igor Kadunc (Director General of RTV Slovenia)
Stefan Raue (Director General of Deutschlandradio)