Free Press Unlimited receives prestigious award for its years of work for press freedom
Tonight, Free Press Unlimited received a special ‘Tegel’, the most prestigious award for journalism in the Netherlands. Tegels are awarded annually to those who have written outstanding pieces in the field of journalism, but this time an extra Tegel was awarded to Free Press Unlimited because of its many years of work in the field of press freedom.
The organization praised Free Press Unlimited's commitment to protecting independent journalism worldwide and preserving access to reliable information. Only once before, a separate prize was awarded outside the usual categories. According to the Board of the award, the circumstances for journalism at the moment are such that this tribute is in order.
“Free Press Unlimited plays an essential role in identifying and addressing circumstances that endanger free journalism. That is why a tribute to this organisation is more than desirable right now. We are proud to be able to express that with this extra Tegel,” says chairman of the board Bart Brouwers.
Free Press Unlimited has been fighting for the freedom and safety of journalists and the right of every person to access reliable information since 2011.
“Press freedom is under enormous pressure worldwide. Journalists are threatened, attacked or even murdered to a great extent, including in democratic countries. This is a major threat to the reliable provision of information and to democracy, which is why we are committed to this,” says Ruth Kronenburg, Director of Free Press Unlimited.
Protecting journalists - around the world
With the award, the board of De Tegel wants to underline not only the societal importance of free journalism, but also the role Free Press Unlimited plays - often in extremely difficult circumstances - in helping to achieve that goal.
For example, Free Press Unlimited played a major role in the evacuation of Afghan journalists after the fall of Kabul, during which 87 Afghan journalists and their families were brought to safety. And since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Free Press Unlimited’s teams in Amsterdam and Prague, together with its partners in the region, have been working day and night to bring journalists to safety and provide them with the essentials to continue their important work.
Maryia Sadouskaya Komlach, Senior Team Lead Europe/Central Asia, says: "Supporting journalists in times of war is impossible without trust. Trusted relations cannot just appear overnight when the missiles strike. They are built over years of partnerships, consultations and joint work. These are the relations we especially value and are proud of. We believe that the award should got to the whole body of brave journalists and other media workers in Ukraine who make it possible daily for people in their own country and abroad to know the facts. Ми з вами! (We are with you)".
Ruth Kronenburg: “Free Press Unlimited works with more than 120 partners in 54 countries to protect journalists and preserve press freedom. We are extremely proud of our work and honored with this recognition by the board of De Tegel.”