The Wall Street Journal Europe’s Anne Jolis is the winner of Reason Foundation’s 2012 Bastiat Prize for Journalism, awarded to the writer who best demonstrates the importance of individual liberty and free markets with originality, wit, and eloquence.

“Through her witty and incisive reporting, Anne Jolis explained the underlying causes of Europe’s economic crisis,” said Julian Morris, vice president of research at Reason Foundation and director of the Bastiat Prize. “Using interviews with the engines of economic activity, entrepreneurs, Jolis showed how overbearing taxes and regulations, combined with crippling government debt, are hindering investment, employment and economic growth.”

Ms. Jolis received $10,000 and an engraved crystal candlestick—a nod to one of Frédéric Bastiat’s most famous satirical essays.

Second place, $5,000 and a candlestick, went to John Robson of the Ottawa Sun. Meanwhile, The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge won third place, taking home $1,000 and a candlestick.

Honorable mentions went to the other finalists and four additional entrants: Brent Batten (Naples Daily News), Caroline Baum (Bloomberg), Peter Foster (National Post), Steve Horwitz (St. Lawrence University, NY), Matthew Kaminski (The Wall Street Journal), Steve Landsburg (University of Rochester, NY) and Frank Miele (Daily Inter Lake).

The Bastiat Prize celebrates writing that captures the spirit and creativity of Claude Frédéric Bastiat, a 19th century French economist and classical liberal who used humor, satire, and simplicity to make powerful cases for liberty and free markets that have stood the test of time.

Previous Bastiat Prize winners include Virginia Postrel, Tom Easton, Bret Stephens, John Hasnas, A. Barton Hinkle, Amit Varma, Jamie Whyte, Tim Harford, Mary O’Grady, Robert Guest, Brian Carney, Sauvik Chakraverti, and Amity Shlaes.

Hundreds of journalists from 34 countries submitted entries this year. The 2012 Bastiat Prize judges were: A. Barton Hinkle (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Charles Kadlec (Forbes), Megan McArdle (The Daily Beast), Russ Roberts (George Mason University), Wired magazine founder Louis Rossetto, and Russ Smith, founder of Washington City Paper and New York Press.