Over 100 journalists from all over the world applied for this year’s prizes. Thank you for all the fantastic applications.The jury**, including Hostwriter ambassadors and board, had a hard time deciding.

It is with great pride and pleasure that we can present the winners.

Hostwriter Prize

The topic of migration was one of the most discussed issues in international media throughout the last year. This was also reflected in the applications for the Hostwriter Prize. Two of the winning pieces are dealing with this subject.

1st place (2,000 Euros)

Dreamland Europe? Many Bangladeshi refugees wish they had never left


Riazul Islam, Mir Zabeda Yeasmin and Hossain Abdul Hai (from left to right)

The three Bangladeshi journalists Riazul Islam, Mir Zabeda Yeasmin and Hossain Abdul Hai co-authored a piece about the long and risky journey Bangladeshi refugees face on their way to Europe. Once arrived many end up regretting their decision to have left.

Together they researched and conducted the field work and also eventually co-authored the story by exchanging writing samples, photos and ideas.

You can read the original story in Bengali on the blog Our Voice or the translated English version.

“This report came out much better than any single-handed production could have.Through the use of Hostwriter platform, this report has been much better and more effective for the readers and target audience of civil society as well as policy makers.”

2nd place (1,000 Euros) 

Post-factual truths – Social media myths fuel false hopes


Tarek Khello and Christian Werner’s TV report

The messages that are being disseminated over Facebook, YouTube or Whatsapp by refugees who have ‘already made it’ often sound too good to be true. 600 Euros per month, your own flat and opportunities for good work in a stable environment. The only problem is, more often than not they just aren’t true. 

The Germany-based journalism tandem Tarek Khello and Christian Werner co-produced a television report and a radio feature outlining how the problem of how online myths often fuel false hopes and even make people from secure and stable backgrounds leave their homes to try and make it in Europe.

You can watch the TV piece for MDR here and read the script of the radio report for Deutschlandfunk here.

Pitch Prize (1,000 Euros)

The Hostwriter Pitch Prize is awarded to a team of journalists with an excellent story idea yet to be realised with the help of Hostwriter. The quality of this year’s applications left us excited, proud, but also challenged.

The decision was tough, but we are very happy with our winners and look forward to seeing these stories come to live.

Want to make friends? Chat animators in Mauritius

by Marine Leduc and Francisco Pedro

In Mauritius - 10,000 km from France - 'chat animateurs' are being paid engage into online conversations

Mauritius – 10,000 km from France ‘chat animators’ are being paid to engage in online conversations with lonely French people. © Ludovic Lubeigt

PITCH: Want to make friends? Register on www …’ Every year, thousands of French people respond to similar ads. Except on the other side, there are no new friends. Ten thousand kilometers away, in Mauritius, the job of “animateur chat” has become very popular.

EXCERPT: “Francisco and Marine have never met in person. Hostwriter was the bridge between them. Now they will form a team and launch this collaborative challenge. With more than ten thousand kilometers and thanks to Hostwriter, the two young journalists will be able to connect both ends and reveal an unfamiliar practice, revealing the situation of many people,  in a virtual world populated by solitude.”

Tensions between Russia and the West: Travel to Kaliningrad

by Coen van der Ven, Johannes de Bruycker, and Szymon Opryszek

The Kalinigrad team has recently already conducted a research trip to Ukraine's eastern border.

Borders areas between Russia and the West are heavily militarised causing international anxiety. The Kaliningrad team met this soldier during a recent research trip. © Johannes De Bruycker – The Caravan’s Journal

PITCH: Together with a team consisting out of multimedia journalists from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland, we will travel to the place where cold war tensions between Russia and the West are most visible and tangible. We will travel to the Russian exclave Kaliningrad: The Russian state in between Lithuania and Poland where old disputes and fears might pose new (military) conflict.

EXCERPT: “A substantial part of the preparation has already taken place and Hostwriter has proven to be a great help in this. Through Hostwriter we have found fixers and translators within Lithuania and Poland who will assist us during interviews and in finding interesting side-angles. At the moment they are really helpful and part of our travelling to Russia and its neighbouring states will be meeting those journalists so that we can work together even better.”

** This year’s jury constisted of Wafaa Albadry (Egyptian ambassador), Geraldine Cremin (Australian ambassador), Bernd Debusmann (ambassador in the UAE), Jutta von Falkenhausen (vice chairwoman hostwriter board), Felix Franz (project manager hostwriter), Tabea Grzeszyk (CEO hostwriter), Prasad Kulkarni (Indian ambassador), Vanessa Quirk (ambassador in New York), Michael Stang (science ambassador), and Michael Weber (hostwriter board member).