With the Free Press Awards, we want to honour journalists who risk everything to bring us the news. Media pioneers who pave the way for equality and justice and those who persevere under the most difficult circumstances. Journalists who have a strong commitment with press freedom and independent information.

Joseph Poliszuk

Joseph PoliszukJoseph Poliszuk is a investigative journalist from Venezuela and is editor of the site Armando.info, a media outlet dedicated exclusively to investigative journalism. Through Armando and other media outlets, Poliszuk has published findings about landmines on Venezuelan soil, local corruption and minerals' trafficking. 

He has also collaborated with the newspaper El Pais in Spain, and worked in the newspapers El Nacional and El Universal from Venezuela, where his work included special coverage of natural disasters in Haiti, and a massacre at La Paragua, on the border of Brazil with Venezuela.


Mwape Kumwenda

Mwape ZuluMwape Kumwenda is journalist from Zambia, and covers the news for Muvi Television. Mwape Kumwenda is known for her perseverance: Once she gets involved in an investigation, she won’t stop until the guilty parties are held accountable for their actions.

It’s not an easy task in a nation where government entities routinely censor news content and harass independent journalists and news outlets. But she takes her responsibility to disseminate accurate, balanced information far too seriously to let any acts of intimidation silence her reporting. Today, she reports primarily on community news and political affairs for Muvi Television, a locally based independents news station. 


Hunar Ahmad

Hunar AhmadHuner Ahmed is a war journalist from Iraq and works for Rudaw Media. He has an impressive record: he covered war events in the most conflictual places such as Iraq, Libya and Syria. Next to that he is one of the only journalists who tried speaking to IS.

Huner Ahmed has been threatened, got detained twice and almost got killed by a bom explosion of a suicide bomber. He risks his life on a daily basis in order to bring the news.  



Newcomer of the Year - Hans Verploeg Award

The Newcomer of the Year- Hans Verploeg Award will recognizes a new talented journalist who has demonstrated a strong performance when it comes to reporting the news.

Marina Ansiforova

MarinaMarina Ansiforova (23) is a young investigative journalist from Ukraine, specialized in covering the Ukrainian judical reform. She uncovered over 50 corrupt judges, some of whom were suspended as a consequence of her reports. Marina's reports helped not only to inform the society in time, in the interesting and reliable manner, but also directly helped to exclude highly influential judges from the contest that could significantly impede the implementation of a real judicial reform. Next to that, Marina did her best to involve a great number of civil activists to the implementation of judicial reform and establish an engagement between journalists, councils or civil control and authorities. 


Andersson Boscán

AnderssonAndersson Boscan (25) is a journalist from Ecuador, well known for his investigative journalism and cutting-edge reports. With the investigative reports such on the far-reaching consequences of illegal mining and the scandalous cases of 500 politicians receiving bribes from oil-company Andrade, Boscan made name as an investigative journalist. Last February, Boscan published “A private trial evidences bribes in the public sector”, a report that uncovered corruption in the strategic areas of the national government controlled by the current vice-president Jorge Glas. With his reports, Andersson Boscan has caused legislative changes in governmental policies concerning health, environment and corruption.


Vino Lucero

VinoVino Lucero (24) is a journalist from the Philippines. In his young career as an investigative reporter, Vino Lucero has been at the forefront of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism’s coverage of Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his war on drugs. He has led the monitoring of drug war data, and was able to point out inconsistencies and riddles in the official police numbers. The drug war stories written by Vino Lucero exposed inconsistencies of the police, creating a more informed readership when it comes to the true deal of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. The drug war stories were also reported and published by mainstream local news organizations like Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, GMA News, Philippine Star, and Manila Times.


Best Report Award

The Best Report Award is the award for the best foreign report that was made with support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery Fund for journalists. The jury and the audience will choose the winner during Free Press Live.

Rachel Corner

Niemand weet dit, De Groende Amsterdammer, 17 mei 2017.

Photo Rachel CornerRachel Corner graduated from the photography department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1997. After that Corner worked as as a freelance documentary photographer. Her focus is on social issues. The article 'Niemand weet dit' is focused on a group of young female musicians. Making music is not self-evident in Afghanistan, especially for women. Nevertheless, Ahmad Sarmast goes on tour with Europe with his girlfriend orchestra. "My relatives find female musicians a shame." A girls' orchestra in Afghanistan. That sounds more like an ideal than a reality in a country where music, play and listening under the Taliban regime (1994-2001) was forbidden. After the Taliban were untouched, conservative religious forces dominated Afghan society. 

Maartje Wegdam & Ariadne Asimakopoulos ​​

No Place for a RebelMovies that Matter, 26 maart 2017

Photo of Ariadne and MaartjeMaartje Wegdam (1982), director, photography, started working as director and camera woman for documentaries after graduating from Documentary Media Studies at The New School University (NYC). Ariadne Asimakopoulos (1984), researcher, co-director, has a background in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. Moreover, she works for Dutch peace organisation PAX for peace, where she advocates at an international level for the participation of young people in peace and security issues and coordinates projects that aim to involve young people in peacebuilding. Their documentary No Place for a Rebel tells the story of Opono Opondo, who returns home to Uganda as an adult war commander after sixteen years. He has been abducted him as a child and now he has to readapt to civil society.


Anne van Campenhout

Kippen voor Kimaru, Zapp Echt Gebeurd, 19 februari 2017

Photo Anne van CampenhoutAnne van Campenhout (1989) is a creative documentary filmmaker, based in Amsterdam. She directed films in Eastern Europe, Benin and Ghana. She coaches filmmakers in countries with fewer opportunities, including Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. In addition, she is co-founder of Linnah Foundation, aiming for mental and financial independency of Single African Moms. Her short film Kippen voor Kimaru tells the story of young Kimaru, who lives with his mother and sisters in a slums in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. After the death of his father, his mother has a hard time paying Kimaru's school fees. Kimaru tries to find smart ways to earn enough money to pay the fees, by selling the eggs of his chickens. But Kimaru is a real city boy and never took care of chickens before...Will he succeed in saving his school money?