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Announcement of the True Story Award 2020/2021 in June 2022 | Festival cancellation 2022

The winners of the second True Story Award will be announced in Bern on 24 June 2022. However, the International Reportagen Festival Bern will not be held in 2022. Continuing uncertainties with regard to global travel and the associated risks preclude it taking place. Given the time that has elapsed since the more than 1,000 texts were submitted, the award ceremony cannot be postponed any longer.

The True Story Award ceremony and the International Reportagen Festival Bern belong together. The International Reportagen Festival Bern association is doing its utmost to ensure that the festival and its highlight, the award ceremony, will be able to take place in 2023. In the light of current events, the relevance of the occasion, which connects cultures and promotes press freedom worldwide, has increased significantly.


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.


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.