View Full Version : Media outlet could join Nobel peace laureates

08-10-06, 19:56
Media outlet could join Nobel peace laureates

Gwladys Fouché in Oslo
Saturday October 7, 2006
The Guardian

Forget the Pulitzer prize. Drop the Royal Television Society awards. Journalists could be in line for the ultimate international accolade: the Nobel peace prize. But not, it seems, if they work for the BBC.

On October 13, when this year's laureate will be announced, media outlets could join the select group of statesmen, human rights campaigners and international organisations that have won what is, arguably, the world's most prestigious honour.

"Media organisations could receive the Nobel peace prize in future," Professor Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel committee, told MediaGuardian.co.uk.

Prof Lundestad speaks on behalf of the five committee members, who tend not to talk about their work to the media. He serves as an adviser to them and sits on all their deliberations, though he cannot vote on who gets the prize. "Good news coverage, as opposed to propaganda or inaccurate reports, can be essential to peace," he said.

Prof Lundestad mentioned several contenders, such as CNN, the New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais.

However, he made a notable exception of the BBC. "Some years ago, the BBC would have been an obvious candidate because it was the international model for news organisations. Nowadays, it is more debatable." He added: "We all know about the problems the BBC has had in recent years," without elaborating.

Regarding this year's laureate, speculation has focused on the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, for bringing an end to the conflict in Aceh, the Indonesian province ravaged by the 2004 tsunami.

Alternatively, the committee may choose a female activist. Only 12 out of 113 peace prizes have been awarded to women so far, although two of the last three winner were female - the Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi in 2003 and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai in 2004. A possible contender could be Rebiya Kadeer, a prisoner of conscience in the Xinjiang Uyghur region in China.

The peace prize is announced every year in October and the awards ceremony takes place in December in Oslo