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Tobacco addiction, Children's Pardon and Apps in traffic nominated for Issue Award 2019

Oeuvre award for Arjen Lubach

Today the three nominees for the Issue Award 2019 were announced: Tobacco Addiction by Bénédicte Ficq and Wanda de Kanter, The Children's Pardon by Tim Hofman and the attention to Apps in traffic by Michael Kulkens, the father of Tommy-Boy, who crashed in 2015. According to the professional jury led by Frits Wester, these three issues were most successfully put on the agenda in the past year, both in society and in politics. The Issue Award is presented every year to the person or organization that has managed to put a social and political issue on the agenda in a striking, unconventional way in the previous year.

Oeuvre Award for Arjen Lubach
As part of the 10th anniversary of the Issue Award, an oeuvre award will be presented to Arjen Lubach this year. With his program “Sunday with Lubach” he is always able to generate broad social attention for underexposed issues. He is popular with both the elderly and young people and therefore knows how to activate young people for issues that do not logically receive their attention, according to the jury. Striking examples include the items about TTIP (chlorine chickens), which meant that everyone knew what this trade agreement was about, the Sleeping Act, which gave the initiators sufficient support for their referendum request, and the item about nuclear energy, which made nuclear energy a possible solution for the energy issue.

Texting in traffic – Michael Kulkens –  This topic came onto the political agenda through the personal efforts of the father whose son (Tommy-Boy) was hit by a car in 2015 while looking at his mobile phone. Now father Michael has only one mission: to make as many people as possible aware of the dangers of using telephones while cycling and in traffic. There will now be an app ban in traffic and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has developed the #MONO campaign to prevent app use in traffic.

Children's pardon – Tim Hofman –Program maker Tim Hofman took the initiative to file a petition for a broader Children's Pardon following his documentary “Back to your own country”. In it he followed five children who had to leave the Netherlands. He went with them to the House of Representatives to interview politicians, among other things. In the petition, Hofman calls for a previously used transitional arrangement to be revived. With this he has put the issue of Children's Pardon on the map in such a way that politics and society can no longer ignore it.

Tobacco addiction – Bénédicte Ficq and Wanda de Kanter –  In continuation of the campaign fighting for a Smoke-Free Generation, Bénédicte Ficq, together with Wanda de Kanter, has succeeded in an innovative way to draw attention to the way in which the tobacco industry deliberately makes children addicted to tobacco at a young age. Although the judge declared the request inadmissible, attention to the issue has greatly increased.

Previous winners

In recent years, the Issue Award went to the educational action group PO in Actie for the way in which workload and salary problems in Primary Education are put on the agenda (2018), to Hugo Borst and Carin Gaemers for the issue 'Quality of elderly care' (2017), to Young & United (FNV) for the abolition of the minimum youth wage (2016), to Boyan Slat for his sustainability initiative “The Ocean Cleanup” (2015), to Quincy Gario and for the Zwarte Pieten Discussion (2014), to Wakker Dier Foundation for the 'Plofkip campaign' (2013), Mauro's foster parents for the 'Young asylum seekers' issue (2012) and to Youp van 't Hek for his campaign against customer-unfriendly helpdesks (2011).


The professional jury of the Issue Award consists of chairman Frits Wester (political journalist RTL), vice-chairman Reint Jan Renes (Lector of Crossmedia Communication in the Public Domain at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences), Marjan Olfers (special professor of sport and law at the VU), Kemal Rijken (writer and publicist of research articles and non-fiction books, including 'Van der Laan, biography of a mayor'), Sigrid Verweij (communications director at VNO-NCW), Liesbeth Breeveld (head of communications at the SER), Rob de Lange ( author and general reporter at the Financieele Dagblad) and Andre Manning (director of Logeion, the professional organization for communication professionals).

Presentation of Issue Award

The Issue Award will be presented during the Issue Congress on Thursday, January 24 in De Balie in Amsterdam. The ceremony will take place around 4:30 PM.

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