Fifth anniversary address given by Catherine Antoine, co-founder of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, at the French Embassy.
| Catherine Antoine addresses the French Embassy, Oct. 2, 2013 |
Washington DC, Oct. 2, 2013 - Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Monsieur l’ambassadeur, merci pour votre hospitalité dans cette belle maison.
I have to start with something sad, but bear with me because it gets better.
Five years ago, on a beautiful Friday afternoon in June, my husband passed away suddenly.
It was the beginning of a personal tragedy for my daughters and me, but something else happened.
We received hundreds of messages, emails, letters, phone calls from people around the world who wanted to share what Peter had meant during their career.
Journalists in Bagdad, in Islamabad, in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong ; in Bosnia, Kosovo, India told us how much Peter had been and continued to be an inspiration.
My husband was a consummate reporter. For him, journalism was not only a profession, it was a way to be in life. He was immensely generous with his time, his experience, his knowledge, mentoring young reporters and discussing journalistic ethics – issues close to his heart – as well as safety in situation of conflict.
When he passed away, as is the custom in this country, people asked where they could make a donation.
One of my daughter said « We must continue Papa’s work » and the other said « Let’s create an award in his name. »
So we did - in collaboration with Reporters without Borders, an organization my husband and I have always admired.
Year after year, we have been able to help and recognize a reporter who operates in difficult and dangerous circumstances.
In 2009, JS Tissainayagam was in jail, accused of terrorism for his reporting on the civil conflict in Sri Lanka.
Today, Tissa is right here with us. He actually runs a very interesting blog – PM Media Freedom - that I recommend. You can find a link on the Peter Mackler Award website.
The following year, we recognized Ilya Barabanov, a young man from Russia whose reporting on corruption in the secret police prompted raids on the publication he still works for.
In 2011, we honored the courage of a woman, Karla Rivas, editor of a community radio in Honduras. Karla staunchly refused to be intimidated by the military. She started her acceptance speech by reading the name of 16 Honduran reporters who had been gunned down in 28 months.
Last year, Lukpan Akhmedyarov from Kazakhstan received the award. We were lucky to have him among us because thugs had left him for dead six months earlier. He had been literally beaten to a pulp, after he reported on corruption in local politics. He was an inspiring speaker at the award and at Columbia University where our winners traditionally address the students and faculty as well.
And this year, you must know that we are honoring Sudan’s Faisal Mohamed Salih at the National Press Club in three weeks. Faisal is a remarkable man and if you want to know more, you need to join us on the 24th. Ambassador Lyman who is right here with us is the keynote speaker. Please, come and show your support .
Now, you might wonder « Why should we care ? Why should we be concerned about the fate of reporters in Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Sudan ? We live here, in this beautiful city of Washington DC - designed as you know by a French man, le major L'Enfant. »
You should care deeply, for many reasons. The one I'll mention tonight is the fact that our own press is battered, and foreign correspondents are so few now. Our own professional media are undergoing drastic budget cuts at a time when reporting from overseas has never been so costly, and so dangerous.
Sure, activists, even ordinary people send tweets and posts video on YouTube. But who’s there to bring perspective, to double check the facts and tell us in the end « what does it all mean ? »
Most often, only the local press is left to take the risks to report the truth; and they do it with little or no protection. They most often are subjected to threats to their lives, threats of torture, threats to their family.
Many are forced to give up or give in to self-censorship. Others courageously push forward, motivated by respect for the truth and dedication to journalistic ethics.
We can't really blame those who choose to avoid danger. But, in turn, we must recognize those who choose to take personal risk on the values we hold dear.
I could go on, but let me stop here for now.
Five years after my husband passed, our goal is to make the award permanent.
To do so, we need your support. Tissa, Karla, Faisal deserve your support.
Please, come to the award ceremony at the National Press Club on October 24th, buy a ticket – it only costs 25 dollars – or better, make a donation so we can continue this work.
Ambassador Princeton Lyman to be keynote speaker at 2013 PM Award ceremony
| Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman |
Washington DC, Sept. 30 - Longtime Sudan and Africa expert, Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman will give the keynote address at 2013 Peter Mackler Award ceremony.
The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism this year honors Sudanese Faisal Mohamed Salih, columnist and editor at Al Khartoum Daily.
The award ceremony will take place Thursday October 24, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
"We are honored that Ambassador Lyman accepted our invitation to address the 2013 Peter Mackler Award. His extensive experience and breadth of knowledge about Sudan promise to bring an exciting dimension to the October 24th ceremony," said Camille Mackler, project director of the PMA.
Ambassador Lyman is Senior Advisor to the President at the United States Institute of Peace.
Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman was United States special envoy for Sudan in 2011-2013. He also served as U.S. senior advisor on North-South negotiations, where he led the U.S. team focused on supporting negotiations between the parties to Sudan's 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Ambassador Lyman also served at the Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University and the Aspen Institute.
Ambassador Lyman's previous career in government included assignments as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (1981-1986), U.S. ambassador to Nigeria (1986-1989), director of refugee programs (1989-1992), U.S. ambassador to South Africa (1992-1995), and assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs (1996-1998).
He is the author of "Partner to History: The U.S. Role in South Africa's Transition to Democracy." He was co-director of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report, "More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa", issued in 2006, and co-editor of "Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why It Matters" published in 2007.
The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is not tolerated.
The award is a project of Global Media Forum in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders. The Award ceremony will take place on Thursday October 24, 2011 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045.
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Tel: +1-202-247 5186
Faisal Mohammed Salih Named 2013 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism
| Faisal Salih is a reporter, editor, columnist and journalism teacher in Khartoum, Sudan. |
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2013 - Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are pleased to announce that Faisal Salih is the 2013 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The Peter Mackler Award celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.
Faisal Salih, 53, is an experienced journalist and columnist for various Sudanese publications.He is also director of programs at Teeba Press, a non-governmental organization that trains journalists in Sudan. He was formerly the editor in chief of Al-Adwaa Daily and a columnist for several other publications.
He will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 24, 2013. Salih, is well known for his criticism of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his regime's human rights abuses. He was imprisoned for several days in 2012 after an Al Jazeera interview where he was critical of the current regime. In 2011 he was one of several journalists investigated after speaking out against the alleged rape of youth activist Safia Ishag.
"As we get ready to celebrate our fifth anniversary, we could not be prouder to recognize such a journalist as Mr. Faisal Salih," said Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award. "Our goal for the last five years, as we have built this award program, has always been to shine a light on the courage and commitment to human rights and dignity that Mr. Salih exhibits every day through his work. When a young woman was raped by Government forces, he could have simply chosen to look the other way and not risk his own life. Instead, he reported about it until the same forces tried to silence him as well. This courage and attachment to journalistic ethics is what the Peter Mackler Award seeks to encourage and reward every year."
Sudan is currently ranked 170th out of 179 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. The African nation is known for its widespread use of intimidation and violence to censor journalists. The result is a media landscape crippled by state censorship, and self-censorship is practiced by many of the country's professional journalists.
"By awarding Faisal Mohammed Salih, we pay tribute to the courage of those in Sudan who refuse to be silenced. In the face of harsh oppression, Salih remains a steadfast figure of freedom of information", said Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders Director.
Open letter to the friends and supporters of the Peter Mackler Award
Washington, DC, Dec. 12, 2012 - Many thanks to those who were able to join us for the fourth annual Peter Mackler Award Ceremony on October 12th at the National Press Club. It was our most successful event so far and a heartwarming and inspiring evening.
Our recipient, Lukpan Akhmedyarov, spoke of the many difficulties faced in Kazakhstan by those seeking to maintain free and independent media. “The press is on a leash, it is only a question of the length of the leash,” he said, referring to “constant pressure” from the government.
| Lukpan Akhmedyarov speaks about hope and freedom in Kazakhstan. |
In Lukpan’s case that pressure included a severe beating at the hands of two thugs after he had published an investigative report on local corruption. He suffered a crushed skull as well as punctured lungs, liver and kidneys.
“After the April 2012 attack, a lot of people wrote and asked if I was going to stop investigative journalism. I realized so many people relied on me for information, there is no way I can stop,” Lukpan said. He added, “For me and my colleagues the PMA is a great honor. Until now we thought our work had gone unnoticed outside Kazakhstan.”
As many of you know, the Peter Mackler Award for Ethical and Courageous Journalism is named for our husband and father the late Peter Mackler, a long time reporter and editor for Agence France-Presse who had a passion to support independent journalism in repressive countries. After he died in 2008, his friends and family were moved to create the PMA to honor his efforts and continue his work.
It has become more than just an award – recipients are adopted into the PMA family. We bring the winner to the United Sates, where he or she gives a talk and meets with students and faculty at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. In Washington DC, they meet with State Department officials, think tanks and non- governmental organizations in addition to the annual ceremony at the Press Club.
| Sri Lankan prison officials escort Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam (center) to a prison bus in Colombo on August 31, 2009. Photo: AFP/Ishara S.Kodikara|
Besides the $1,000 award, we try to help them when we can. The PMA worked – along with many others – to gain the release from prison of our first recipient, J.S. Tissainayagam. Tissa has since been granted asylum in the United States and is now living in Washington.
“The Peter Mackler Award is not just another media honor. While the PMA recognizes that fighting for media freedom requires courage to speak the truth, it also brings families together. Where reporting the truth is dangerous, awardees can rest assured that their families have someone to turn to in times of desperation – the Peter Mackler family that is always willing to give much more than handing out the accolade," he told us recently.
After Tissa, who had been unjustly imprisoned on trumped-up terrorism charges in Sri Lanka, we gave awards to Russia’s Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of Novoye Vremya (New Times,) targeted by his government for exposing official corruption, and Carla Rivas of Radio Progreso in Honduras, who continues to cover the news in the face of military intimidation and censorship. The disturbing stories of their battles to report the truth are a reminder that freedom isn’t free, and are an important motivation for us to keep supporting the cause that Peter so deeply believed in.
| Camille J. Mackler, PMA Project Director. |
As we enter our fifth year we wanted to share some of the latest news about the PMA. We are expending our board of advisors which currently includes the Washington Post Company Vice President Marcus Brauchli, NewsCore CEO John Moody, U.S. Senate Staffer Jay Branegan and others.
We are currently developing plans for a special event next year to mark the fifth anniversary of the award.
All this would not be possible without the support of people like you who believe in the crucial role a free press plays in developing societies. “I never had the privilege of knowing Peter Mackler, but I admire the spirit of this award in his name,” remarked Robert O. Blake, Jr. Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, at the 2012 ceremony.
None of us involved with the PMA take any pay for our work and we keep costs to a minimum. All the money raised through the ticket sales and donations goes to expenses for the award itself, transportation, accommodation, venue, etc.
With the year-end giving season upon us, we ask you to consider making a tax deductible donation to the PMA so we can continue honoring the courageous work of brave journalists around the world. Our family is dedicated to this cause, and we hope to be able to count on your support.
To donate online, please, go to www.pmaward.org/ and choose on “Make a donation”
or by mailing a check to:
Peter Mackler Award
11 Broadway - Suite 615
New York, NY 10004
Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake Key Note Speaker for 2012 Award Ceremony
NEW YORK, September 14, 2012 - The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism announced today that Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake will be the key note speaker at this year's ceremony honoring Lukpan Akhmedyarov of Uralskaya Nedelya (Kazakhstan). The ceremony will take place October 12, 2012 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Mr. Blake is a career Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador Blake entered the Foreign Service in 1985. He has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington, including senior desk officer for Turkey, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ambassador Blake served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi, India from 2003 - 2006, as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009, and as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs from May 2009 to the present.
Mr. Blake earned a B.A. from Harvard College in 1980 and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1984.
The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized. The Award is administered jointly by Global Media Forum and Reporters Without Borders. The Award ceremony will take place on October 12, 2012 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour.
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Global Media Forum
Lukpan Akhmedyarov Named 2012 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism
NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 - Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are pleased to announce that Lukpan Akhmedyarov is the 2012 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
Akhmedyarov is a reporter for the weekly Uralskaya Nedelya in Kazakhstan. He will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 12, 2012.
Lukpan Akhmedyarov, 36, is well known for his investigative coverage of corruption and human rights abuses as well as his criticism of the current regime. He has been the target of threats and harassment by the police.
On April 19, 2012, Akhmedyarov was the victim of a murder attempt outside his apartment building in the city of Uralsk. Two masked individuals attacked him, hitting him on the back of the head, stabbing him multiple times and shooting him with an air-pistol. As a result, Akhmedyarov was hospitalized for a month and treated for a head injury, eight stab wounds to the lung, kidneys, and stomach, and gun pellet injuries.
Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award, said that “Mr. Akhmedyarov has shown enormous courage in reporting on corruption in an authoritarian regime. That he continues to do so, after almost paying with his life for his commitment to journalistic integrity, makes us proud to name him this year’s winner of the Peter Mackler Award.”
“Through Lukpan Akhmedyarov, we pay homage to the courage of all who continue to work independently to cover the news in Kazakhstan. Working as an independent news source in this country has never been easy. Over the past twelve month, it has become more dangerous than ever. Lukpan's courage and dedication command respect” said Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders Director.
RSF ranked Kazakhstan 154th out of 178 countries in their 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index.
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Fund Raising Event at the Pew Foundation
Washington DC, June 21, 2012 - Please join us on Thursday, June 21st for The Future of Information, an afternoon of insightful conversation as two of the nation’s leading media experts analyze the latest trends in information consumption and consider the impact they have on internet media of every kind.
A benefit for the Peter Mackler Award for Ethical and Courageous Journalism, this very special event will feature Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, and Lee Rainie, Founding Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Together they’ll discuss the latest findings on how Americans are using and accessing information and what these discoveries mean for the future of the web and its content managers.
click here to view the event summary.
Maximum Seating - 70
NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2011 - Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders are pleased to announce that Honduran radio journalist Karla Rivas, news editor for Radio Progreso, has been selected as the 2011 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Rivas will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 20, 2011. Rivas is the first woman to receive the Award.
Karla Rivas, 33, works for Radio Progreso, a Jesuit-run radio station covering current events, sports, and arts news. Despite being one of the first victims of raids by the military after the 2009 coup, Radio Progreso continues to challenge censorship and to promote dialogue within Honduran society. It's leader, Father Ismael Moreno, was one of approximately ten journalists the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights instructed the new Honduran government to protect, an injunction the regime continues to ignore. Karla Rivas became a vocal opponent of the military tactics and continues to defend Radio Progreso's right to broadcast uncensored information. Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award, said that "Ms. Rivas has shown enormous courage and integrity by asserting the right of the People of Honduras to receive fair, accurate news. She has done so regardless of the danger she placed herself in. This selflessness and strong ethics are what the Peter Mackler Award rewards by naming Ms. Rivas this year's winner."
Jean-François Julliard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders stated that Ms. Rivas' recognition "constitutes both a symbol of the fight for the right to information, and a reminder to the international community of the tragedy Honduras has suffered since the coup on June 28th, 2009. Radio Progreso's efforts to inform the public about the state of human rights since that day is rewarded today. The driving force for dialogue within an extremely polarized society, Radio Progreso continues to take on with courage its journalistic and educational role, despite threats and persecution. If the station is over a half-century old, its young journalists and announcers embody both the future of a profession and the hope of a country." Reporters Without Borders ranked Honduras 143rd out of 175 countries in their 2010 Press Freedom Index, down from 128th the previous year.
The Award ceremony will take place on October 20, 2011 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour. There will be a silent auction.
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Global Media Forum
Peter Mackler Award To Hold Ceremony Recognizing Ilya Barabanov October 22nd, 2010
The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism will hold its annual award ceremony on October 22, 2010 at 6:00PM at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC. The ceremony is open to the public and will be followed by a networking hour. Tickets are $25 ($10 with student ID) and can be purchased at the door or online at www.pmaward.org. There will be a silent auction.
This year’s winner is Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of Russian opposition magazine The New Times. Barabanov has worked on several investigative reports exposing corruption and other issues within the Russian government. As a result, he has been the target of extortion attempts and other threats, and has defended his organization against a lawsuit filed by the Interior Ministry and OMON security forces.
The guest speaker will be J.S. Tissainayagam, 2009 winner of the Peter Mackler Award and current Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Mr. Tissainyagam, a respected Tamil journalist and editor, was recently pardoned by the Sri Lankan government, less than a year after his conviction to 20 years hard labor on terrorism charges.
The Key Note Speaker will be David E. Hoffman, contributing editor at the Washington Post and Foreign Policy Magazine. Mr. Hoffman is also the author of The Dead Hand, the Pulitzer Prize winning analysis of the Cold War arms race.
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