Reporters Without Borders were awarded the Freedom of Speech Award, a prize by International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC). The organisation was honoured for longstanding support and protection of journalists, the fight against censorship and monitoring freedom of speech around the world. The distinction has been awarded for the first time.
The presentation ceremony took place on Tuesday, 4 June, in the Great Assembly Hall of the Royal Castle of Warsaw. Lech Walesa, the legendary leader of “Solidarity” movement and the former president of Poland was in attendance along with Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk, the chairman of IAPC. The award was collected by the president of Reporters Without Borders Gerald Sapey accompanied by the organisation’s general secretary Christophe Deloire.
Reporters without Borders is an international non-governmental organisation that protects the right to the freedom of press, freedom of speech and access to information as well as the security of journalists.
The IAPC confers the Freedom of Speech Award on persons or organisations for their exceptional contributions to the fight for or in defence of free speech, or creating conditions and supporting efforts promoting freedom of speech. The winner is selected by all the IAPC member press clubs (over 20 countries). Each of the more than 30 clubs has one vote. The winner receives a medal and 10,000 euro.
A part of the award ceremony was the first public screening of the selected scenes from the movie ‘Wałęsa’ and a meeting with its director, Andrzej Wajda, who spoke about the limits on free speech in Polish cinema under communism .
The 2013 award ceremony was co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the National Centre for Culture.
The presentation of the Freedom of Speech Award was the highlight of the annual IAPC assembly, which took place June 3-6 in Warsaw. The delegates also visited Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot.
International Association of Press Clubs
The International Association of Press Clubs was formed in 2002 to uphold the ethics of journalism and free access and distribution of information worldwide. We now have 20 member Press Clubs representing Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The International Association of Press Clubs aims to foster dialogue, cooperation and exchange of practical experience and ideas between media representatives around the world, promote free access to information, increase ethical standards in media, and support the struggle for free speech worldwide. The International Association of Press Clubs also supports thousands of Press Club members in their work as journalists, both in their own countries and as foreign correspondents. The Association supports numerous organizations active in defense of free speech, media workers’ rights and the maintenance of high ethical standards.
Press Club Polska
Press Club Polska, founded in 2009, is an association of media representatives, promoting journalistic professionalism and supporting citizens’ rights to obtain accurate and reliable information. It is a place for all people who work as journalists and people professionally connected with the media. The Press Club’s activity is based on three pillars: education, information and integration. Press Club Polska is a member of the International Association of Press Clubs and the European Press Club Federation.