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WSJ and Sciences Po Journalism School Award 1st Daniel Pearl Prize to Louis-Etienne Vigneault-Dubois

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PARIS (June 14, 2005) — Initiated by The Wall Street Journal in partnership with the Ecole de Journalisme de Sciences Po, the first Daniel Pearl Prize was awarded to Louis-Etienne Vigneault- Dubois from Canada, at a ceremony held on June 10th in the presence of Raju Narisetti, managing editor, The Wall Street Journal Europe, Richard Descoings, managing director, Sciences Po, Jean- Claude Lescure, director, Journalism School, and Bernard Volker, executive director, Journalism School.

Jury member and Wall Street Journal special correspondent Andrew Higgins praised the quality of the submissions: “We’re delighted so many students submitted stories for the inaugural prize. They showed great promise and we hope this will become a permanent fixture with the school.”

Canadian-born Louis-Etienne Vigneault-Dubois, 24, had chosen to take a look at excision in Senegal. Based on his recent journalistic experience in Dakar as a foreign correspondent for Canadian radio network SRC, he wrote a profile of Fatoumata who has given up excision to create a farm cooperative and to welcome former exciser colleagues. Fatoumata gets the support of her village as her community gives up the ancestral cultural practice.

The jury also awarded Nandita Vij, 22, whose article focuses on Punjab wives who have been abandoned by their NRI (Non Resident Indian) husbands, and Hind Meddeb, 27, for her story about the veil and the identity crisis of many young Muslims in France. Bernard Volker said: "Daniel Pearl is a great model for young reporters as his human approach to a society in crisis and his belief that national and religious differences can be overcome are exemplary. In his articles, he illustrated how the poorest people in this world have problems of universal resonance."

With the patronage of his father, Judea Pearl, who is president of the jury and who also serves as chairman of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.org), the annual prize is a tribute to the American reporter and is awarded to a Sciences-Po journalism student. Special attention is given to articles that focus on a subject related to international affairs— particularly those that address issues of division between communities; issues to which Daniel Pearl was very sensitive and that often inspired his reporting throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

"Inspired by the unfinished mission of reporters like Danny you will carry the banner of honesty and common sense to remote corners of the world and, like him, you will not compromise fairness and truth in the face of adversity. Take pride in your chosen profession, you are now Daniel Pearl's comrades,” said Judea and Ruth Pearl in a message to the winners and to all the students as well.

The next prize will be announced to the students in January 2006 and officially awarded in June.

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