Tomorrow 14 December 2011 the nominated to the Cavling Prize is announced. The prize is the most pretigious journalistic prize in Denmark. 44 suggestions for nominations have been received by the prize committee. The prize is presented to the winner at a ceremony the 6. januar 2012. Here are my guesses for a winner:
- Anton Geist and Ulrik Dahlin. Every journalist dream seems to be to get the head of a minister on a silver plate. In the case of Geist and Dahlin their articles managed to remove the Minister for Integration (of immigrants), Birthe Rønn Hornbech. The case concerns the handling of young stateless people. According to a United Nation convention signed by Denmark stateless persons born and raised in Denmark may seek Danish citizenship. The authorities not keen on giving citizenship to for example criminals and suspected terrorist let the convention be open to their own kind of interpretation. The journalists were directed to the case by member of parlament Hanne Agersnap that made an alert note of a particular remark Hornbech made in parlament. From there Geist and Dahlin were running with the ball. The journalist are suggested for the prize by no less than six persons, including the two former prize winners Peter Øvig Knudsen (2007) and Jesper Tynell (2009). Geist and Dahlin will be unsurprising winners. The case is summed up on Danish Wikipedia in an article where I have written a major part.
- 2011 was also the year of the wonderful case of neuroscientist Milena Penkowa, see my earlier comment. Poul Pilgaard Johnsen was the primary journalist digging into the case. I guess he must have been provided with leaked information somehow. In a particular claim to fame he managed to investigate an investigation of an investigation and found that a Spanish firm called “RRRC Pharmaceuticals” was likely an ficticious invention of Penkowa, thus making a mock of a former investigation by the President of the University of Copenhagen. The case may also have caused that a minister was removed from office. Former Minister of Science Helge Sander knew Milena Penkowa personally and before the story broke big in the media he was replaced as part of a major government reshuffle. Most likely he was removed because he wasn’t particular popular among students and researchers. But one may wonder whether the Prime Minister knew that the friend of Sander was already at that time involved in a criminal case. Johnsen is suggested by 6 persons, including one of the scientists involved in the case. Four of the journalists suggesting Poul Pilgaard Johnsen for the Cavling Prize write: “According to our knowledge the case is the largest scientific scandal in the history of Denmark and the first time in the history of Danish press, that investigative journalism within science and research has resulted in so extensive exposé and consequences.” This case is also summed on the Danish Wikipedia in the lengthy article on Milena Penkowa of which I have also written a good part.
One outsider is Preben Juul Madsen that has been suggested by seven people. Madsen runs his own website http://kunstnyt.dk/ and seems to have some devout followers. My guess is that he is not a likely winner.Poul-Erik-Heilbuth, the man behind a Curveball documentary is suggested. One of the few with international reach.
(Update 15. december 2011: Ok, so Dahlin and Geist were nominated, but not Johnsen – http://www.b.dk/nationalt/victoria-er-cavling-nomineret )