The 2024 Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award ceremony

The winners of the 2024 Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award: Giovanni Picuti (for Le Guide di Repubblica), Ulrike Sauer (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Dario Tomassini, Elisa Marioni and Andrea Rossini (Rai Tgr Umbria), Alessandro Mariani (QuiFinanza), Enrico D’Amo (for the School of Radio and Television Journalism of Perugia). Special mentions to Arianna Marelli and Lucia Tironi (Sky Arte) and Stefano Miliani (Il Giornale dell’Arte).

On 19 April, the awards ceremony for the winners of the 2024 Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award was held in Perugia, a prestigious award sponsored by the National Order of Journalists and which saw nominations arriving from Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Brazil.

The event was presented by the well-known RAI journalist Bruno Gambacorta, an expert in tourism and food and wine and for years an appreciated president of the awards jury.

President of the Umbria Chamber of Commerce Giorgio Mencaroni was very satisfied about “the high level of quality of the journalists and newspapers winning the award,” which has been organized by the Umbria Chamber of Commerce since 2009.

The reflections and points of view that emerged on a possible Umbrian model of tourism development are particularly interesting: art, food and wine and jazz are the key words of this XIVth edition of the award.

Various representatives of Umbrian cultural institutions were present at the awards presentation.

There was such a long wait to meet the protagonists of the fourteenth edition of the Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award, which since 2009 has rewarded articles and videos that have contributed to enhancing the cultural, artistic, environmental and productive heritage of the Umbria region.

The 2024 winners and the motivations of the jury

The winner in the Tourism, Environment and Culture Section is Giovanni Picuti from Foligno with the piece “A saxophone and a rampant griffin”, a brilliant fresco of Perugia in the Umbria Jazz season, published in “La Repubblica – Giudes to flavors and pleasures”.

Motivations of the jury
There is a “felix Umbria” that is reborn year after year, when the sounds of the world color the ancient cities of silence. Umbria Jazz. The word is enough. Fifty years of a “jam session” that one would like to be infinite: it vanishes and reappears, one season after another. Giovanni Picuti, singer of the “blessed umbritude”, the rough and at the same time generous attitude in knowing how to capture the fleeting and sometimes hidden moment of the taste of life, affects the memories of warm and passionate days, mixes the notes and flavors and toasts, together with the readers, to a pleasure that has become a habit that appears again on the doorstep.

For the Umbria del Gusto section, the prize was awarded to the German journalist Ulrike Sauer for the article “Das große Schnüffeln” (An affair worth smelling) published in the prestigious German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung: an accurate in-depth analysis dedicated to the precious truffle, increasingly rare in nature.

Motivations of the Jury
In Ulrike Sauer’s work there are all the elements of the best journalistic insights, as well as those of the white truffle, which she describes: from field research, to the analysis of data and local and global economic implications, from knowledge of history, to new trends, with attention to sustainability and agricultural digitalisation. It is both a reportage and an investigation, where a plurality of voices and sources intertwine in a rigorous and compelling story.

In the Video section, Dario Tomassini, Elisa Marioni and Andrea Rossini from Tgr Rai Umbria made a name for themselves with the extraordinary documentary “Umbria Jazz 50. Time after time”, full of lively and frank testimonies and surprising period clips.

Motivations of the Jury
The DocuFilm “Umbria Jazz 50 – Time after time” is a journey through the first half century of the Umbrian event. The authors put together the voices of the protagonists and the images of the Rai display cases, obtaining a journalistic story full of suggestions, music and words. They retrace the pioneering beginning, the years of protest, the contaminations between genres, the concerts that made history. In the video the past, present and future of one of the most famous festivals in the world dedicated to jazz coexist.

The Jury Prize went to the young Milanese journalist Alessandro Mariani for the article “Olive oil and sustainability, Umbria a laboratory between tradition and innovation”, published on, focused on new sustainable practices for the circular economy and the valorization of the territory put into practice in Umbria.

Motivations of the jury
A detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of Umbrian olive growing and olive oil production, increasingly oriented towards sustainability: not a simple process, which however finds some virtuous examples in this region that Alessandro Mariani has described with great competence.

The Schools of Journalism Award was won by Enrico D’Amo who on Quattro Colonne, the channel of the School of Radio and Television Journalism of Perugia, created the moving video report “The film life of Dino Marinelli”, the lively 90-year-old with an always ready joke who for almost a quarter of a century was the host of the Pinacoteca in Città di Castello.

Motivations of the jury
A character from other times, one might say… and this is precisely how Dino Marinelli, for decades custodian and factotum of the Art Gallery of Città di Castello, emerges from the portrait-interview made by Enrico D’Amo, a student of the School of Radio and Television Journalism of Perugia. A pleasant and well-made video also on a technical level.

Special mentions

Finally, there were two special mentions that the jury wanted to award.

The first went to Arianna Marelli and Lucia Tironi, competing in the Video section, who made the documentary “NERO Perugino Burri” for Sky Arte, on the exhibition of the same name which, as part of the celebrations of the five hundredth anniversary of Perugino’s death, brought the two masters into dialogue via the colour black.

Motivations of the jury
The beautiful images make the viewer enter the color black, synonymous with mystery and darkness, but also a sign of timeless elegance. An often overlooked or misunderstood color which in this documentary is rediscovered in its ability to create depth and convey light. Produced to present the NERO Perugino Burri exhibition, the great artistic exhibition organized by the Perugia Foundation in collaboration with the Burri Foundation and scheduled at Palazzo Baldeschi, it remains an interesting product even after the exhibition closes.

The second special mention, in the Tourism, Environment and Culture section, was awarded to the Florentine journalist Stefano Miliani for “In Umbria they ask for more travelers and fewer tourists,” a wise reflection on the Umbrian model of tourism in a long interview with Vittoria Garibaldi, former Superintendent of the historical and artistic heritage of Umbria, published in Il Giornale dell’Arte.

Motivations of the jury
Unhurried travelers wanted. Stefano Miliani, accompanied by the wise story of the art historian Vittoria Garibaldi, explores an Umbria in which the landscape and human relationships merge in an unexpected harmony. In the lively cultural offerings of the cities and in the rarefied silence of mountain villages excluded from mass tourism, the paths of beauty intersect with surprising discoveries. To be kept in the mind and soul.

“The Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award – recalled the president of the Umbria Chamber of Commerce Giorgio Mencaroni – was a beautiful intuition which, since its inception, has managed to attract the attention of the world of communication due to its seriousness and the credibility of his proposal.” Mencaroni continues: “This edition was once again characterized by prestigious signatures, emotional stories, original socio-economic analyzes and great video productions. These are results that repay us for our efforts and convince us to continue on this path.”

For the president of the jury Bruno Gambacorta, “The beauty of Stories on Umbria is that every year it is renewed, also because it is a litmus test of communication in the tourism sector, and in fact in this edition the new trend of local tourism also emerged, the rediscovery of Italy and Umbria by Italian and European travellers.”

The 2024 jury was chaired by Bruno Gambacorta, flanked by the President and General Secretary of the Umbria Chamber of Commerce, Giorgio Mencaroni and Federico Sisti, by the head of the Press and Communication sector of the Chamber of Commerce, Paola Buonomo, by the press officer of the Chamber of Commerce, Giuseppe Castellini, by the journalists Federico Fioravanti, Luca Garosi, Anna Maria Selini and by Donatella Binaglia, representing the Umbria OdG of which she is also vice-president.

Photo credit: Umbria Chamber of Commerce