IBE and UCB announce winners of the Excellence in Epilepsy Journalism Awards 2009 and launch the Awards 2010
The award, an initiative of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and biopharmaceutical company UCB, aims to increase awareness, improve understanding, and encourage accurate reporting of epilepsy by inviting journalists to submit stimulating, informed and compelling stories about knowledge, data and real life experiences of people with epilepsy around the world.
Award judge Susanne Lund, Immediate Past President of the IBE, commented, We received high calibre entries from 17 countries around the world covering a range of topics including facts about epilepsy, new developments in research, practical advice on travel as well as the stigma and challenges people living with epilepsy face at home, in the workplace and in the community.
These entries truly demonstrate how journalists can help to combat the fear and ignorance about epilepsy and improve the lives for those living with the condition.
An independent seven member judging panel, consisting of media experts and people with experience of epilepsy, was tasked with identifying responsible, informed, original and stimulating stories on epilepsy. The judges selected winners and a highly commended entrant in two categories print/online and broadcast.
The winner of the print/online category is Aliyah Baruchin for her article Epilepsy in the African-American Community: Access Education and Advocacy, published in EpilepsyUSA, Issue 4, 2008.
A well-written, easy to read article highlighting the challenges that are often faced by the African-American community when trying to gain access to appropriate epilepsy care a topic that rarely gets the coverage it deserves, said award judge Dr Mark Porter, GP, Broadcaster and Medical Correspondent for The Times, UK.
Television journalist and producer Miguel Ángel Tobías was judged winner in the broadcast category for his program, Hora de Salud: Epilepsia (Health Hour: Epilepsy), broadcast on Spains Canal 9 TV.
Member of the judging panel, Joachim Mueller-Jung, writer and journalist for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany said, The judges felt this program had everything. It takes epilepsy to a broader audience in a clear and comprehensive way with educational insights into epilepsy. If programs like this were broadcast around the world, it would make a meaningful impact.
Australian journalist Julia Medew received a highly commended award for her article Art Helps Lift the Veil on Epilepsy, published in The Age newspaper. Her article, which reached more than one million readers, told the story of a young womans participation in a study examining the influence of epilepsy on artistic expression.
In the broadcast category, the judges highly commended Floriane Closuit for her thought-provoking film Par Surprise(s) (By Surprise) and its powerful ability to humanise epilepsy.
A special mention was awarded to Majlinda Aliu for her compelling broadcast entry The Treatment of Epilepsy in Kosovo. According to award judge Roger Sergel, Managing Editor, Health Coverage, ABC News, USA, the film is a gritty piece of journalism that gives us a window into a world we seldom see while providing a stark illustration of the challenges facing people with epilepsy in Kosovo.