October 29th saw the Lead Awards 2015 being presented in the Hamburg Deichtorhallen. The magazine BEEF! won the main category in the Lead Awards and was honoured as Magazine of the Year. Additionally GEO received Gold in the category "Photo of the Year" for "Freiheit oder Tod" (Freedom or Death). And the STERN fetched the Public’s Choice Award with a photo by Roberto Schmidt. In addition STERN, GEO and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DEUTSCHLAND were able to record one Silver and two Bronze for Gruner + Jahr. G+J-magazines received 23 nominations altogether.
The Lead Awards have been presented since 1993. The reason for their high regard in the media industry is the adjudication procedure: An application is not possible. Instead a pre-Jury selects prizeworthy works from all relevant magazines, newspapers and the web in an evaluation procedure. These are then rated regarding the overall context of the visual and content development in the media market. Then they are presented to a expert studded main jury, who decides about the prize granting.
BEEF! is the lead magazine of the year. Editor-in-chief Jan Spielhagen: "Gold at last for us men at the barbecue! I am totally thrilled with this award. As it is proof for a good sense, good journalism and good taste. In only six years BEEF! has managed to jump from a slightly smiled over niche idea to a highly successful, innovative cult magazine. BEEF! is no magazine, BEEF! has turned into a movement. The recipe for this success has only four ingredients: Firstly a highly professional team – with secondly a lot of humour, thirdly big visual creativity and fourthly – a publishing house backing you, that believes in good ideas and (print) journalism."
The best picture of the year was also to be seen in a G+J magazine. The photo "Freiheit oder Tod" (Freedom or Death) by the French photographer Olivier Jobard was published in the GEO issue 5/2014 and was honoured with gold. GEO-editor-in-chief Christoph Kucklick: "Many photographers have portrayed the refugees' fate in the past months. Very few have dared to take up the dangerous journey over the Mediterranean. Olivier Jobard deserves this award also and especially for his enormous and long term commitment to this topic. In spite of the poetic quality of his picture he does not romanticize but stays authentic and committed to the job to feature a drama that is inconceivable for us. Ten years ago already he accompanied the young Kingsley Kum from Cameroon to Europe – also published in GEO at that time. We are proud to have been able to accompany his excellent and brave work for so long and congratulate Olivier Jobard to this very well deserved award."
The STERN received this year’s Public’s Choice Award. Roberto Schmidt’s work "Schlechte Aussicht" (Bad outlook) from STERN no. 36 convinced the visitors of the exhibition "Visual Leader 2015". Christian Krug, STERN-editor-in-chief: "The large number of nominations and awards for the STERN at this year’s lead awards is a fantastic confirmation for the whole editorial team. We are very pleased that the great efforts which we take up every week for the best stories were honoured so often by the Lead Awards. For a reportage magazine photos and their sensitive use is just elementary. We have worked hard for this and are so much more pleased that this is not only honored by the readers but also by a circle of such renowned creative experts."
G+J-magazines were honoured with three further medals this year. Thus the GEO-photo series "Farben der Erinnerung" (Colours of memory) with photos by Andrea Grützner received a silver medal in the category "Architectural and still life Photography of the Year". Her pictures were published in the GEO issue 7/2014 and showed details of her place of origin. The STERN also secured a podium postion in the category "Photo of the year" and was honoured with bronze for the spread "Nicht Freund, nicht Helfer" (Not friend, not helper) by the photographer Charlie Riedel in issue no. 36/2014. Additionally NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC was able to report a bronze award in the category "Reportage Photography" – for the picture galleries "Out of Eden" by the photographer John Stanmeyer, published in the issues no. 3/2014 up to 03/2015.
Furthermore the „Tagesspiegel“ was honoured with bronze in the category "Feature of the Year/Newspapaers" for the daily supplement "11FREUNDE täglich" about the football World Cup, which was realized in cooperation with the G+J football magazine.