The Machiavelli Award 2021 has been awarded to Gerrit Hiemstra, meteorologist and weatherman at the NOS. The board of the Machiavelli Foundation announced this today. The prize is awarded annually for a remarkable achievement in the field of public communication.
Hiemstra is awarded the prize because he “has made climate change and its consequences accessible to a wide audience in an appealing way”, according to the jury’s report. “With boundless energy, he brings the causes and consequences of climate change into the limelight. He explains, he clarifies and he contradicts, where necessary. All in understandable language, with science as the basis.”
“Unintentionally, Hiemstra has become the figurehead of the climate movement. In plain language, he crosses swords with climate sceptics at home and abroad. With great patience, he replies to people who respond to his messages. Quietly, but also passionately, Hiemstra continues to explain what the problem is and what the causes are. In understandable language, he remains approachable and reaches a wide audience,” the jury report continues.
The prize will be presented on Wednesday 9 February by Marja Wagenaar, chairperson of the Machiavelli Foundation, in Press Centre Nieuwspoort (The Hague). It is the 33rd time that the prize is being awarded. The award ceremony can be followed live from 17.00 on NPO Politics and www.stichtingmachiavelli.nl. Due to the corona situation, the ceremony is not open to the public this year.
Previous winners include Marion Koopmans and Diederik Gommers, Elliot Higgins of journalism collective Bellingcat, “the threatened mayor” Jos Wienen, SheDecides, Hugo Borst and Carin Gaemers, the Dutch Safety Board, RTL Netherlands, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, Bauke Vaatstra, HRH Princess Máxima, national coach Bert van Marwijk and investigative journalist Jeroen Smit.
Harm Taselaar, outgoing editor-in-chief of RTL News, will hold the annual Machiavelli Lecture prior to the award ceremony, entitled: “Free speech: blessing or scourge”.