The Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism is awarded annually to recognize achievement in journalism. The winners are chosen by an independent jury made up of some of Sweden’s most-trusted top journalists. The prize is given out by Bonnier AB.
The Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism has since its inception developed into the most prestigious and important honor for distinguished journalism in Sweden.
The award, worth 100,000 Swedish kronor is given in four categories:
• Årets Avslöjande – Scoop of the Year
• Årets Berättare – Storyteller of the Year
• Årets Förnyare – Innovator of the Year
• Årets Röst – Voice of the Year
• Lukas Bonniers Stora Journalistpris – Lukas Bonnier’s Grand Prize for Journalism
For the first four categories, the jury chooses three finalists for each category during a first round of judging. The finalists are made public and the jury makes a final decision at a meeting the same day that the prizes are awarded.
The Lukas Bonnier award is given to a long-term journalist in recognition of his or her skill and distinguished achievement over a lifetime.
In the early 1950s, book publisher Albert Bonnier Jr. saw a need to replace spontaneous random awards with something more formal, at the same time he wanted to promote and encourage journalistic skills within the magazine publisher Åhlén and Åkerlund. Together with other members of his team, he created the award that came to be called the Åhlén & Åkerlunds Tidskriftsstipendium.
This internal prize was established in 1953 and existed until 1966 when it became the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism and was opened up for the best in journalism within the entire Swedish press.
The Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism began with two categories – daily press and other periodical press. In 1969 a third category was added for radio and TV.
In 1979 the other periodical press category was divided into weekly magazines, along with special, industry and organization publication categories. Radio and TV at the same time got their own categories rather than being lumped together.
In 1992, a further prize was established – Lukas Bonniers Journalistpris – awarded to journalists for lifetime distinguished achievement.
In 1998, the magazine category replaced the various other periodical categories, and a new category was added, new media.
In 2001 Bonnier AB instituted the Suuri Journalistipalkinto, a comparable prize in Finland.
In 2002 the Swedish Grand Journalism Prize took yet a new format. Whereas earlier the prize had been given out in categories based on media type, now the categories were changed to: Scoop of the Year, Storyteller of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Lukas Bonniers Stora Journalistpris.
Awards Ceremony and Guest Speakers
The 2016 ceremony took place on Nov. 23 at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.
Since 1997, many famous international journalists and media personalities have been the guests of honor at the award ceremony, including:
Kirsty Wark is one of three program hosts for BBC Newsnight. A journalist with many years experience in news coverage, she doesn't hesitate to speak her mind despite inviting controversy. She's won many prestigious awards for her work, including BAFTA Scotland Journalist of the Year in 1993, Scot of the Year 1998 and was a nominee for the Richard Dimbleby Award for Best TV Presenter in the BAFTAS 2000.
2015 Christine Ockrent is an author, TV journalist and leading media personality in France. She started her career at the U.S. TV news magazine 60 Minutes, then in 1981 became the first woman news anchor for the 8 p.m. news on Antenne 2 in France. Since then she’s held many important positions in TV, with a focus on politics and news. She talked about the year's terrorist attacks in France, threats to journalism and free speech, and the challenges she's faced in her career. Watch the video.
2014 James Harding, head of BBC News, started his career at the Financial Times, covering China from Shanghai before moving on to head the Washington bureau. He later became the Times of London’s youngest ever editor-in-chief. In 2012 he fell out with owner Rupert Murdoch and surprisingly, ended up at the BBC – the Times under Harding’s leadership had been one of the network’s strongest critics. He talked about moving from print to TV, the media climate in the U.K. and the importance of journalism. Watch the video.
2013 Duncan Campbell is a longtime member of the Guardian staff and one of Britain's leading crime journalists. He talked about the trials of journalists after recent phone-tapping scandals in the U.K. and gave his views on whistleblower Edward Snowden's disclosures, based on the Guardian's unique position as both publisher and target. Watch the video.
2012 Masha Gessen, journalist and author, is interviewed on stage by host Robert Aschberg about her experiences as a Russian journalist covering president Vladimir Putin and writing critically about him. A follow up was made in 2013 by Camilla Kvartoft in this video interview.
Swedish photographer Johan Persson, who along with journalist Martin Schibbye was released after over 14 months in an Ethiopian jail charged with terrorism, talked about their experience and the situation for Ethiopian reporters (in Swedish).
2011 Hanne Skartveit, political editor for the Norwegian daily Verdens Gang, was interviewed by host Karin af Klintberg (in Swedish) about the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway that Skartveit witnessed, and covered, first hand. Tarik Saleh, journalist and filmmaker whose movies include Metropia talked about My Arab Spring.
2010 Misha Glenny, author, researcher and journalist for the BBC, known for his writing and reporting on southeastern Europe and organized crime around the world. Watch the interview with him from the ceremony here, made by Karin Hübinette.
2009 Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of the Tatler, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, author of the best-selling The Diana Chronicles. Watch the interview with her that was made exclusively for the ceremony. Esayas Isaak was guest at the Awards Ceremony, talking about his brother Dawit Isaak who was imprisoned in Eritrea in 2001 (in Swedish). Cecilia Hagen, long time journalist at Swedish tabloid Expressen and 2006 years winner of the Lukas Bonnier-award, talked about the evening press and their relationship with the royalties (in Swedish).
2008 Sir Michael Parkinson, TV journalist most known as host of his long-running talk show Parkinson on the BBC and ITV. Watch as Stina Dabrowski interviews him at the ceremony.
2007 Graydon Carter, co-founder of Spy magazine and longtime editor-in-chief for Vanity Fair. Watch an interview with him, made exclusively for the ceremony.
2006 David Remnick, former Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post and current editor-in-chief for the New Yorker, his book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire won the Pulitzer Prize. Watch an interview made for the ceremony with him here.
2005 Hugh Miles, London and Cairo correspondent and author of Al-Jazeera: How Arab TV News Challenged the World.
2004 Jeffrey Rosen, journalist, author and law professor at George Washington University, known for his coverage and opinion pieces on the U.S. Supreme Court, and on privacy and security issues.
2003 Åsne Seierstad, journalist known for her war-zone coverage in Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya, and author of the best-selling The Bookseller of Kabul.
2002 Ilana Dayan, investigative journalist, jurist, TV anchorwoman and host of Uvda (fact) for Israeli Channel 2.
2001 Roy Greenslade, England’s leading media columnist. Previously managing editor at The Sun and the Sunday Times as well as editor-in-chief for the Daily Mirror.
2000 Ruth de Aquino, editor-in-chief of Época, former managing editor of Brazilian daily O Dia and former president of the World Editors Forum.
1999 Phillip Knightley, journalist, critic and long-term Sydney-based correspondent for the Sunday Times, Knightley is also an author, including his most recent book, The First Casualty, about war and propaganda.
1998 Ryszard Kapúscinski, journalist, foreign correspondent, photographer and poet, was also known for his books, including The Emporer: Downfall of an Autocrat about the end of Haile Selassie’s reign in Ethiopia.
1997 James Fallows, journalist and commentator, former editor at U.S. News and World Report and long-term national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. Fallow’s book National Defense received the National Book Award.