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“Show the human face of drug policy”. Final results of contest for journalists announced

Newsweek’s Aleksandra Pawlicka and Dziennik Bałtycki’s Dariusz Szreter have been named winners of the contest for journalists “Show the human face of drug policy”. Agnieszka Lichnerowicz (TOK FM Radio), Przemysław Hirniak (Krytyka Polityczna) and Bogdan Wróblewski (Gazeta Wyborcza) received distinctions.

The awards and distinctions were unanimously given to the authors of five out of twenty four articles written by contestants, journalists working for both national and local media (press, online, radio and TV). The articles were assessed by a panel of jurors composed of Renata Kim, Hanna Lis, Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, Zbigniew Łuczyński, Bartosz Węglarczyk and Jacek Żakowski, who unanimously awarded a total of five awards.

The first award was bestowed to Aleksandra Pawlicka, author of the interview with Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Kora Jackowska entitled “Dajcie Korze spokój” (Leave Kora alone). Ms Pawlicka received a membership in the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver, USA, and a grant worth PLN 2,000.

The second prize went to Dariusz Szreter for his interview with Tomek Lipiński, a musician of the acclaimed Tilt rock band “Nie siejmy paniki wokół trawy” (Let’s not sow panic around the grass). Mr Szreter won a membership in the Harm Reduction International Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania and a grant of PLN 1,200.

Other distinctions were given to Agnieszka Lichnerowicz (TOK FM) for her interview with Eduardo Vergara “My nie przegrywamy wojny z narkotykami. My ją przegraliśmy” (We aren’t losing the war with drugs. We have already lost), Bogdan Wróblewski (Gazeta Wyborcza) for the reportage “Warszawka na trawce” (Warsaw glitterati on the grass), Przemek Hirniak (Krytyka Polityczna) for the interview with Ruth Dreifuss “Pierwszy krok do dobrej prewencji to dekryminalizacja” (Depenalisation is the first step to good prevention).

The official award-giving ceremony will take place on 14 June, at noon in the Iluzja café, ul. Narbutta 50A, Warsaw.

The goal of the contest, whose next edition has been already planned for 2014, is to develop a rational, serious and fact-based debate about drugs in the media.

“What I want to do is to make this subject less political and persuade the media to treat it as a public health issue. We should not let us be guided by populist slogans and should no longer treat drug users as an easily identifiable public enemy. Currently, the need to make necessary changes in the drug policy is the subject of a robust global discussion. I’d like this discussion to inspire us to further reflection and debates”, says Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, director of the Global Drug Policy Programme, who is also the organiser and originator of the contest.

Press magazine provided media sponsorship for the contest.

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