The International Press Institute (IPI) is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists. We are dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.
60 Heroes for 60 Years
As this year marks the 60th Anniversary of the International Press Institute - the world's oldest global organisation dedicated solely to press freedom - IPI has decided to honour a further eight journalists who have shown great courage in defending this universal right, bringing the number of IPI World Press Freedom Heroes to 60.
These eight journalists - Lasantha Wickrematunge, May Chidiac, Laurence Gandar, Nedim Sener, Lydia Cacho, Pap Saine, Akbar Ganji and Yoani Sanchez - joined the ranks of the 50 journalists we honoured in 2000 as part of our 50th Anniversary, and two more journalists - Anna Politkovskaya and Hrant Dink - who were honoured in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Of the full 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes, 20 were able to attend the ceremony, together with hundreds of participants at the Congress.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic gave a keynote speech, with Sir Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times (London), speaking on behalf of all the Heroes. Willibald Cernko, CEO, UniCredit Bank Austria - sponsor of the commemorative book "Words of Freedom: A Tribute to 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes" - also spoke at the event.
NEW - IPI World Congress 2010 Report
IPI Honours Radio Okapi with 2010 'Free Media Pioneer' Award
Radio Okapi began broadcasting on 25 February 2002 as a public service station with the aim of contributing to the building of peace in the DRC. The radio station is jointly managed by the Fondation Hirondelle in Switzerland, and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in Kinshasa.
The dedicated journalists at Radio Okapi have paid a high price for their independent reporting. In June 2007, news editor Serge Maheshe Kasole was murdered in the city of Bukavu. In November 2008, reporter Didace
Namujimbo was also killed – possibly for his reporting on the botched investigations into his colleague’s death. Despite arrests and investigations, these murders have not been resolved.
Despite all this, Radio Okapi persevered, and continued to adhere to its principles of independence and objectivity. It has now been more than eight years since Radio Okapi went on air, and in that time it has become the benchmark for media professionalism and ethics in that country. Radio Okapi’s website is the first news website in the country, and can boast of over 400,000 visits a month. Today, its programmes reach an unbelievable 20,000,000 listeners – a third of the population.
The Free Media Pioneer Award was presented at the IPI 2010 World Congress Opening Ceremony, on Sunday, 12 September.