Guardian Award of the German daily press

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The Guardian Prize of the German daily press is an award for journalists and editors that has been awarded annually by the Freedom of the Press Foundation since 1969 .

Critical and investigative reporting on corruption , nepotism , grievances and abuse is recognized. The courageous reporting is to be recognized by the award. In addition, the prize is awarded for defense against attacks on freedom of the press .

A first, second and third prize is currently awarded annually, each endowed with € 10,000, € 6,000 and € 4,000.


In the period after the Second World War , the Western Allies granted licenses for new newspaper publishers . The publishers had to transfer 20% of their profits to finance a program to rebuild the press landscape.

In 1947, the Economic Cooperative of the Press was founded, which was supposed to lend the rapidly growing assets in the form of start-up capital loans to newly founded newspaper publishers. In 1948 around 36 million Reichsmarks were available, after the currency reform in June 1948 it was still 3.5 million  DM .

Since the license requirement was lifted in June 1949, the cooperative's assets were soon used up. With the help of a loan from the Government Appropiations for Relief in Occupied Areas program amounting to DM 15 million, the cooperative was able to continue to operate.

After this loan was repaid, DM 3.2 million from license income was still available. With this fortune, the Freedom of the Press Foundation was set up on January 31, 1967 , and it still awards the Guardian Prize to this day.

Today the foundation is financed by contributions from newspaper publishers.


The prize is awarded by a four-person jury . Since 2004 this has consisted of:

Award winners


1970 to 1979


  • In 1970 there was no award.










1980 to 1989




  • 1st prize: Knut Siewert (Hohenloher Tagblatt): Report on local political self-importance in a small town
  • 2nd prize: Herbert Riehl-Heyse ( Süddeutsche Zeitung ): Presentation of human inadequacies in everyday life under the rule of law
  • 3rd prize: Klaus-Werner Schunk ( Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung ): Uncovering a prominent case involving the amalgamation of economic interests and a political mandate








1990 to 1999



  • 1st prize: Rolf Hartmann ( Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung ): Uncovering the mutual benefit of Bochum council members in municipal contracts and property sales.
  • 2nd prize: Barbara Debus ( taz ): Uncovering Ämterschacher in Bremen - a professorship for political science should be established especially for a party politician.
  • 3rd prize: Marc Frey ( Frankfurter Rundschau ): Series of articles on the spread and influence of organized crime in the Rhine-Main area.








  • 1st prize: Andreas Scharf ( Stuttgarter Nachrichten ): Uncovering the abuse of power by a state minister
  • 2nd prize: Karl Doemens ( Frankfurter Rundschau ): Reporting on the practice of awarding contracts in Wiesbaden ministries
  • 3rd prize: Detlev Burrichter and the local editorial team in Hamm ( Westfälischer Anzeiger ): Contributions to the "Santa-Monica-Platz affair"

2000 to 2009


  • 1st prize: Michael Stiller, Conny Neumann and Sebastian Beck ( Süddeutsche Zeitung ): Reporting on the financial misery at the state housing and urban development company, Bavaria.
  • 2nd prize: Michael Fröhlingsdorf ( Trierischer Volksfreund ): Research on the financial machinations of the managing director of the Caritas -trägergesellschaft, Trier.
  • 3rd prize: Axel Busse ( Märkische Oderzeitung ): Study of the employment of former Stasi employees in public institutions.





  • 1st prize: Jürgen Schreiber ( Der Tagesspiegel ) and Horst Cronauer ( picture ): Reporting on the Jakob von Metzler murder case , in particular the threat of violence by the Frankfurt police during the interrogation of the suspect.
  • 2nd prize: Andreas Jungbauer ( Main-Post ): Renaming of the Würzburg sports hall (formerly named after Carl Diem ) and renaming of the sports medal of the same name.
  • 3rd prize: Sonia Shinde ( Financial Times Germany ): Uncovering a fraud involving false dentures in which dentists and the Globudent company were involved.


  • 1st prize: Frank Seidlitz ( Die Welt ): Uncovering the planned break-up of the building materials group Readymix by the competitors.
  • 2nd prize: Jens Weinreich ( Berliner Zeitung ): Revelations about irregularities in the unsuccessful Leipzig Olympic application in 2004.
  • 3rd prize: Thomas Fritz and Rainer Stumpf ( Main-Post ): Prevention of attempts by the 1st mayor of Markt Zell am Main to undermine the press' right to information.



  • 1st prize: Marion Girke and Christian Denso ( Hamburger Abendblatt ): Reports about an old lady who was expropriated by the state or the community after her incapacitation.
  • 2nd prize: Hans Leyendecker and Nicolas Richter ( Süddeutsche Zeitung ): Reporting in the case of the German-Lebanese El Masri kidnapped by the CIA and the attitude of the federal government to it.
  • 3rd prize: Ekkehard Rüger ( Westdeutsche Zeitung ): Research and reports on the planned visit of the supervisory board and the shareholders' meeting of Burscheider Stadtwerke to a Norwegian funding platform, financed by two energy companies.



Since 2010




  • 1st prize: Martin Buchenau, Jürgen Flauger and Sönke Iwersen ( Handelsblatt ) for reporting on the controversial takeover of EnBW by the Baden-Württemberg state government under the responsibility of Prime Minister Stefan Mappus .
  • 2nd prize: Ursula Samary ( Rhein-Zeitung ). The jury's reasoning: “From 2007 to the present day, she has followed the 'illegal' occupation of the presidential position at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz and brought it to the public, which the SPD-led state government had enforced for political reasons. Prime Minister Kurt Beck (SPD) and his Justice Minister (SPD) had to reverse the action - an embarrassing setback that the state government obviously wanted to avoid: by dissolving this OLG or by merging it with another higher regional court. ”In the end, the plan came about the merger of the unpopular Koblenz Higher Regional Court with a neighboring OLG withdrawn.
  • 3rd prize: Barbara Schönherr ( Der Tagesspiegel ). The jury's reasoning: “In thorough and expert research, it showed the rampant misuse of state funds in the context of so-called family aid by independent organizations and disclosed the system: Those who work inefficiently earn the most. In Berlin in 2010 a total of 785 independent organizations shared a cake worth 408 million euros. "





  • 1st prize: Pia Heinemann (Welt am Sonntag / Welt / N24) for her reporting on the effects of flat-rate case fees in the German hospital system
  • 2nd prize: Matthias Meisner ( Tagesspiegel ) and the reporter team of the Sächsische Zeitung Dresden (Alexander Schneider, Tobias Wolf, Ulrich Wolf) for their articles on right-wing extremist developments in Saxony and the Pegida movement
  • 3rd prize: Anne Kunze, Bettina Malter, Stephan Lebert and Fritz Zimmermann (Die ZEIT) on their research into problems of the minimum wage



  • 1st prize: Hannes Grassegger and Till Krause, SZ-Magazin , for their documentation about the “almost inhuman job” of the “cleaners” on Facebook
  • 2nd prize: Christiane Mühlbauer, Tölzer Kurier , for uncovering irregularities in connection with a sewage treatment plant in Bavaria that put politics under pressure
  • 3rd prize: Frank Lahme, Westfälischer Anzeiger , for a report on a gap in supply in the event of occupational disability , which the state parliament then closed


Web links

  • Guardian Award at DokZentrum /

Individual evidence

  1. Christof Bock (dpa): Ten years ago: Balsam billions bankruptcy shook the financial world. In:, June 10, 2004.
  2. ^ Journalist Frank Jansen awarded the daily press guardianship prize. In: FOCUS online, May 7, 2008.
  3. a b “Handelsblatt” journalists honored. Guardian price for uncovering the EnBW share deal ( Memento from April 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In:, March 28, 2012.
  4. Fears are followed by great relief. In: March 28, 2012, accessed March 30, 2012.
  5. 17 SZ journalists received awards. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . 13th March 2013.
  6. Bernd Bauschmann: Guardian Prize of the Daily Press 2017. In: April 7, 2017, accessed on May 16, 2017 (in the update of July 27, 2018, accessed on July 29, 2018, Ilse Romahn is given as the author).
  7. The winners of the Guardian Prize in chronological order. In: DokZentrum, accessed on September 4, 2018 .
  8. ^ "Case Klischat": WA editor Frank Lahme receives the most important newspaper award. In: Westfälischer Anzeiger. April 19, 2018, accessed June 3, 2019.
  9. Wächterpreis: Authors of "Handelsblatt", "Die Welt" and "HNA" awarded. In:, April 23, 2019, accessed June 3, 2019.