The Henri Nannen Prize is considered the most prestigious journalism print prize in Germany, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize in the United States.
So it came as a surprise earlier this month when, at the annual awards ceremony in Hamburg, three journalists from Sueddeutsche Zeitung rejected the award for the investigative news category.
The judging is similar to the Pulitzers in that submissions are weeded down to three finalists. This year, however, the Henri Nannen judges could not decide between two of the three finalists in the investigative news category. So they split the prize between Sueddeutsche, the largest broadsheet in Germany, and Bild, a populist New York Post-style tabloid that runs pictures of half-naked women inside.
It was the first time the award had been split, said Susanne Hacker, a spokesperson for the Henri Nannen Prize, by email.