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2021
Festival

The International Reportage Festival Bern will be postponed to 24-26 June 2022

Dear Friends of the International Reportagen Festival Bern,
The chance of winning the first truly global reporting prize, the True Story Award, is one thing, but being invited to Bern to meet other distinguished reporters from all over the world is something else entirely.
This is what makes the International Reportagen Festival Bern so unique: all participants become part of a community over the three days on which the festival is held, as reflected in the feedback from reporters following the 2019 festival. This isn’t a community that holds brief virtual meetings behind screens, but one that gathers out in the open and fresh air, in cafés, squares and on terraces across this beautiful city to discuss and share perspectives. It’s a community that tangibly shows just how important it is to experience in person that you are not alone in your work, research and writing despite the many challenges and difficult conditions you might face.
The International Reportagen Festival Bern relies on its guests attending in person. Without this, the very spirit of the festival would be lost. In light of the pandemic-related travel restrictions affecting many of the nominated reporters – travel to Switzerland from many countries looks impossible even for the rest of this year – we believe that we would not be meeting our responsibility to our guests and the public if we were to hold the festival in August 2021. We have therefore made the difficult decision to once again postpone the second edition of the festival and the True Story Award ceremony.
We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you to the International Reportagen Festival Bern from 24 to 26 June 2022.

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Award

The principal jury take over

The 39 nominated reports will then be submitted before the principal jury, made up of four women and four men from each of the four different continents. The three reports that masterfully combine the criteria of the award – dedicated research, journalistic competence and social relevance – will be awarded the True Story Award 2021 at the jury meeting in Bern.

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Award

The nominees have been chosen by the jury

The jury has made its decision. In each of the 13 different languages and categories, the three most outstanding reports have been determined. The nominated reporters, together with representatives of the jury, will be invited to Bern for the 2nd International Reportagen Festival Bern from 20–22 August 2021: 60 guests from all over the world!

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2020
Award

120 reports shortlisted

Over the past two months, the 42 jurors have read each submission and come to a preliminary decision: 120 reports made it onto the shortlist. The places of publication range from titles as diverse as the New York Times, Le Monde, El País and Süddeutsche Zeitung, to Al-Jazeera, The Intercept, Meduza, Mada Masr and the South China Morning Post.

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2019
Festival

Review of the International Reportagen Festival 2019

Launching a new festival in a city that exudes culture is an ambitious project. If it is nonetheless successful, it must be something special. The public’s response to the first International Reportagen Festival Bern in 2019 demonstrates that this is the case: Around 5,000 guests from Bern, all over Switzerland and neighbouring foreign countries attended 52 sold-out events with 60 journalists from all over the world. One of the principal jurors, Jon Lee Anderson, reporter at The New Yorker, wrote: “For a few days, Bern felt like the centre of the world, and the city became a compassionate and tolerant host for an extremely necessary and healthy experiment, a remedy against hatred, xenophobia and incomprehension.”

More on the International Reportagen Festival Bern 2019 can be found here.

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2018
Festival

How it all started

The idea began as a dream of Rocío Puntas, editor of the magazine Reportagen and Bern city guide, to hold a festival for reporters from all over the world in her beloved old town. Daniel Puntas, founder and chief editor of the magazine, suggested that in combination with a global reporter award, the dream could become reality. The concept was met with open ears by Marcel Brülhart, Chair of Bern Welcome. The foundation for an ambitious undertaking was laid.

More on the True Story Award can be found here.

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