German Free Press Media Association to award new 'Press Freedom Award' to 'Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak'
The 4th Delegates' assembly of the German Free Press Media Association’s (MVFP) marks the beginning of the MVFP's "event days" for member publishers on Wednesday afternoon, 21 June, in Berlin. In addition to the general association and organisational agenda, the MVFP delegates' meeting, held one day before the Free Press Media Summit (Medienkongress der freien Presse), will focus on the commitment to press freedom.
For the first time, the MVFP will award the 'Press Freedom Award' at the delegates' assembly. The first laureate is the Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak (ICJK), whose editor-in-chief and chairman, Lukáš Diko, will receive the award at the MVFP delegates' assembly in Berlin. On June 22nd, Diko will speak at the Free Press Media Summit about freedom of the press in Slovakia and Europe. The ICJK is a non-profit organisation dedicated to investigative journalism. Its founding members are former colleagues of Ján Kuciak. The Slovakian journalist was murdered in 2018 and this year, along with Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered in 2017, was posthumously honoured by magazine publishers with the Victoria for Freedom of the Press. The award ceremony, at which Julia Becker, publisher FUNKE Mediengruppe, will deliver the laudatory speech, will take place at the “International Club in the Ministry of Foreign Affair”. In the evening after the delegates' meeting and after the award ceremony, the German Free Press Media Night will be held at Spindler & Klatt.
"With the new 'Press Freedom Award', the MVFP is putting an exclamation mark on the importance of freedom of the press and freedom of speechin our society. The team around Lukáš Diko is an outstanding example of independent journalism and an ideal continuation of the journalistic work of Ján Kuciak," says MVFP CEO Stephan Scherzer. Freedom of the press cannot be taken for granted and must therefore be defended every day anew at all levels. This is also the reason why freedom of the press in all its facets will play a major role at the first Free Press Media Summit (22 June), alongside future issues such as the transformation of the publishing industry, artificial intelligence and paid content.
The fundamental question of the relevance of the free press for a democratic society will be discussed by Jörg Quoos, editor-in-chief of FUNKE Zentralredaktion (FUNKE Mediengruppe), politician Günther H. Oettinger, Prof. Dr. Renate Köcher (Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach), journalist René Pfister (Spiegel) and MVFP chairman Philipp Welte (Hubert Burda Media).
Bojan Pancevski (Germany correspondent, Wall Street Journal), Jan Jessen (head of politics, NRZ/foreign reporter, FUNKE Mediengruppe), Susanne Koelbl (foreign reporter, Der Spiegel) and Paul Ronzheimer (reporter, BILD/Axel Springer) will join Franziska Reich (editor-in-chief of FOCUS, Hubert Burda Media to give exclusive insights into their journalistic work and discuss "Freedom of the press in the context of war, crisis and climate".