Prestigious award for Zeljko Ivanovic in Washington
One of the founders of "Vijesti", Željko Ivanović, received the prestigious TLN (Transatlantic Leadership Network) award in Washington D.C. at the gala ceremony at the National Press Club. At the ceremony, Ivanovic thanked TLN for the great recognition.
"This award is a small victory for reliable information over fake news, this award is a victory for the rule of law over corruption and nepotism, this award is a victory for institutions over organized crime, this award is a victory for public interest journalism over tabloids and propaganda, finally this award is the victory of ethics over depravity," Ivanović said and added that what he said shows what he has devoted his life to and what topics "Vijesti" have been dealing with for decades and every day.
Ivanović added that he is grateful to journalists, editors, all employees and partners of "Vijesti", and especially to one of the founders, Miodrag Perović, and his family, because without "their hard work, knowledge, support and sacrifice, all my work and sacrifice would have no meaning, no effect".
He recalled the words of Mark Twain that a lie goes around the world before the truth has yet put on its shoes. "What can we say today in the digital era of social networks where so-called journalists and so-called media daily produce lies, spins and conspiracy theories. In addition to many wars like Putin's in Russia, there is also a fight for the truth. Protect facts, responsible journalism and ethics. I invite all colleagues around the world to defend those standards and values, without them our civilization has no meaning", Ivanović concluded.
Sheila Coronel, dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, in the testimonial recalled the numerous attacks, campaigns and pressures that "Vijesti" experienced and that in the majority of cases the perpetrators and instigators were not discovered, adding that everything was an attempt to influence "Vijesti" editorial policy.
"Despite all that, "Vijesti" continues its fight for the rule of law, democracy and human rights, and continues to expose corruption and organized crime. The pioneering spirit of Željko Ivanović and "Vijesti" burns as brightly as ever, shining the light and showing the way for the country's future" Coronel said.
The representative for media freedom of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Tereza Ribeiro said that independent journalism is one of the most important pillars of society.
"I congratulate TLN and all the winners of awards for media freedom. Your professionalism and journalistic achievements are truly impressive. You have promoted freedom of speech and transparency, thereby giving an incentive to future generations to work as journalists," said Ribeiro at the ceremony.
Director of "Voice of America" Yolanda Lopez said that they gathered for the sake of media freedom and the risks that journalism carries as a profession. "Every day, journalists all over the world are targeted and their safety is compromised," Lopez said and addressed all the award winners: "Thank you for your work. Despite the risks, you persevered in your mission."
In addition to Ivanović and Nobel laureate Maria Resa, awards were also received by Jennifer Griffin, from Fox News, Olga Rudenko, editor of the Kyiv Independent, posthumously Shirin Abu Akleh from Al Jazeera, and Vladislav Davidzon, journalist of Tablet magazine and founder of Odessa Review.
The TLN journalism awards for 2022 were decided by a 20-member international jury in which, in addition to the head of a well-known political institute, there were well-known editors and journalists from the most influential American and European media.