UA:PBC has won the 2022 Gunnar Høidahl Award for Excellence in the Eurovision News Exchange (EVN) for their news coverage of the war in Ukraine – demonstrating true professionalism and commitment to covering a story that isn’t only news, but deeply personal.
The Gunnar Høidahl prize is awarded annually at the News Assembly. This year, Angelina Kariakina, Head of News at UA:PBC, accepted the prize from an undisclosed location. “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award,” she said. “The work we’ve been doing at UA:PBC since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has given us a purpose: to share these stories with the entire world. When we see the horrors that are happening in our own country, it makes no sense – but when we report on it, it makes some sense out of it. It gives us strength and gives us a reason to wake up in the morning. Journalism is empowering.”
“UA:PBC deserves this award for the sheer resilience that they have demonstrated in managing to remain on air in the midst of a full-scale invasion – while also continuing to inform audiences at home in Ukraine and facilitate a global understanding of the story,” said Emilio San Pedro, Senior Editor of the Eurovision News Exchange. “On top of all that, UA:PBC managed to secure an exclusive interview for Eurovision News with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – the first time we were able to produce our own interview for Members with a key protagonist in a news story,” he added.
2022 has been an incredible year for news coverage, from domestic stories around the impact of climate change – including drought, wildfires and severe heat – to the many aspects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sustained news coverage was delivered in challenging, and often dangerous, conditions – sometimes even while holed up in bomb shelters. The EBU’s Geneva news editors selected four exceptional nominees, and the winner was selected by the entire EVN team.
The other nominees for the award were RTP (Portugal), 2020 winner RTVE (Spain), and last year’s winner France Télévisions (France) for excellence in their foreign and domestic news coverage.
RTP was shortlisted for their excellent coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in particular the allegations of war crimes in towns like Bucha; as well as the visit of the UN Secretary General to Kyiv and Irpin. They also provided excellent domestic coverage on the ongoing drought in Portugal and the dramatic wildfires that affected the country this summer.
RTVE demonstrated excellence in domestic coverage, notably around the impact of climate change, as well as for their ongoing strong foreign coverage.
France Télévisions shone particularly in terms of their foreign coverage, which extended beyond Ukraine to Afghanistan, India, the US and other parts of the world.
The EVN is a unique network founded by European public service media newsrooms over 60 years ago. It operates in more than 50 countries and offers EBU Members around 100 edited news, radio and sports items, as well as almost 17 hours of live content, every day. It also enables Members to confidently use essential eyewitness reports as news stories unfold, knowing they have been verified by the Social Newswire service and that the content is trusted, safe to use and to share.