Dedicated to war reports in the photo, written press, radio and television, the Bayeux Calvados-Normandy prize was chaired this year by Ed Vulliamy, journalist at the “Guardian”.
It would take more than a pandemic, however persistent, to prevent war correspondents from meeting. Thus, throughout the past week, the 27e edition of the Bayeux Calvados-Normandie Prize, dedicated since its creation to this media category which, all media combined, surveys the most dangerous and unstable places on the planet to report as freely and objectively as possible on its upheavals at the risk of their lives . Exhibitions, screenings, debates, conferences, round tables, all of a high standard finding the right balance between expertise and education, punctuated the Normandy week, which concluded on Saturday evening with the traditional award ceremony.
The jury of around thirty members was made up of professionals gathered on October 9 and 10, under the chairmanship of Ed Vulliamy, Irish writer and journalist from The Guardian and The Observer, who once moved heaven and earth to denounce Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time, guilty of having engaged his country in a war against Iraq based on fallacious arguments exhibited by the White House. In the introduction, Vulliamy presented its mission as follows: “I’m exhausted, not from lack of sleep, but from the intensity of what we’re doing here. It is an honor to preside over this jury: the Bayeux Prize is the epicenter, the center of gravity of our profession. What is great about deliberations is that there is no notion of good or bad: we have to make a judgment, impossible by definition. We have to choose between the excellent and the best of all.”
“The Longest War”
Among the many prizes awarded, that of the photo category went to Lorenzo Tugnoli (Contrasto), Italian living in Beirut (and Pulitzer Prize 2019 for his work on the famine in yemen), for his subject “The Longest War” made in Afghanistan for the Washington Post. The radio award returned to Sonia Ghezali and Shahzaib Wahlah for “Afghanistan: after the attack on the MSF maternity ward” broadcast on RFI, the jury specifying on this occasion that in 27 editions, it had probably never heard a sound document of such quality. In the “large format TV” category, it is Syria in the trap of Idlib, by Suzanne Allant, Yaman Khatib and Fadi Al-Halabifor Arte reportage, which was rewarded, not without arousing the debate on the grounds that the subject was edited in France by someone (Suzanne Allant) who had not been on the ground, but worked in collaboration with her Syrian counterparts.
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First prize in the written press category, the investigative work ofAllan Kaval of World, for “In northeast Syria, the slow death of jihadist prisoners”, which evokes a prison managed by Kurdish forces, was recognized, ten days after the journalist was injured (along with his colleague Rafael Yaghobzadeh) in Nagorno-Karabakh. Repatriated to France, the hospitalized journalist said to himself “infinitely moved” on Twitter. The subject of John Sudworth and Wang Xiping broadcast on the BBC and titled Uyghur Families received the TV prize and the prize for high school students and apprentices.
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Photographer Lorenzo Tugnoli, already Pulitzer 2019, rewarded in Bayeux