Stories on Umbria journalism award

To the rest of the world, Umbria has suffered a string of negative press. The region is often associated with the destruction of earthquakes and is considered the “little sister of Tuscany”. However, the 8th International Journalism Award “Raccontami l’Umbria”- Stories on Umbria revealed a positive light on the people and stories within the region.
The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Perugia and the Chamber of Commerce of Terni, which started alongside with the International Journalism Festival. A jury panel had reviewed and selected the best pieces of work to be awarded prizes in six different categories. The focus of the ceremony is to promote Umbria’s stories through media and publication, and also show an optimistic perception through the stories of the people, culture, history and environment.
Dennis Redmont, veteran foreign correspondent, spoke of two growing opportunities that could potentially help Umbria gain a positive impression. First, emerging platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many more are the new places to receive content. The second is the need for constructive journalism, a field of journalism that pushes solution based news and provides positive changes. Redmont stated that combining these two aspects, as shown in the award ceremony, could be beneficial to Umbria’s image.
The first category was the “Photography Contest”, which went to Ediardi Ridolfi for his “Christ of the Peaks” photo. His picture depicted a setting sun in the backdrop with a standing Christ in the foreground. The first round of the contest was held on Facebook, where the pictures with the most numbers of likes would be judged by the Jury Panel.
The “Tourism, Environment, Culture” category was awarded to Michael Turtle, a freelance travel writer/blogger, for his work “In the Footsteps of St. Francis. Turtle was able to capture the essence of the Saint Francis path from a traveller’s view and focus on the details of the pilgrimage trail.
The prize in the “Crafts, Companies, Products” section went to Jacopo Cossater, a Perugian resident who depicted the new generation wine makers in the region. His exposé was able to link a variety of wine made in Perugia back to the origins of the land.
The 2017 “Stories on Umbria” prize was given to Emanuela Casentini, a professional journalist, for her documentary Italien, meine liebe L’Italie: Entre Ciel et Mer / the Ombrie. The documentary was broadcasted in both French and German. The series portrayed the people of Umbria and the close connection they have with their roots and the region.
This year, a new category was introduced to the awards which highlights the work and dedication of students at the Graduate Journalism School of Perugia. The award set out to support and foster young journalists to pursue the profession. Francesco Bonaduce, Cristiana Mastronicola and Elena Testi (broadcasting students) were awarded a prize for their work on Europe’s finest Greenway, a depiction of the Spoleto-Norcia railway.
The Special Jury Prize for “Raccontami l’Umbria – Stories” was received by Roberto Giacobbo, distinguished journalist, and Massimo Fraticelli, TV producer, for a Voyager episode dedicated to the city of Orvieto. The show exemplifies Perugia in the best light of mystery and history.
Finally, Bruno Gambacorta expressed his gratitude towards the journalists in attendance of the award and this year’s International Journalism Festival. He encouraged everyone in the room to communicate to the rest of the world what Umbria has to offer, in hopes that it would triumph over the past negative associations the region has dealt with.

By Irada Yeap