2020 GUE/NGL Award for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information
Truth Matters! Call for Nominations – 2020 GUE/NGL Award for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information
GUE/NGL has the pleasure of announcing our third annual Award for ‘Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information’.
First established in 2018 in honour of the assassinated Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the award has become an annual celebration and commemoration of the women and men who risked their lives by disseminating information that are in the public interest.
In 2019, Julian Assange, Yasmine Motarjemi and Rui Pinto were jointly awarded the prize, and in 2020, we will once again honour individuals or groups who have been intimidated and/or persecuted for uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public.
Yasmine Motarjemi receiving her prize in 2019 for her exposé on Nestlé’s food safety standards
The award will aim to support and disseminate their investigative work in an effort to safeguard and promote the freedom of press and the right to information – especially inside the European Union which still does not offer adequate legislative protection for such work.
Nominations have now been reopened until 23h59 CET on 31st May 2020 and can be submitted by email to [email protected] Only eligible nominees with examples of work or sufficient information (explanatory documents, press documents, audiovisual material) will be considered.
A jury of journalists, whistleblowers and GUE/NGL MEPs will deliberate over the nominations. The awards ceremony had been scheduled for April 2020 but due to the COVID-19 emergency, a new date will be announced in due course for late-2020.
Matthew Caruana Galizia, Journalist, ICIJ
Stephanie Gibaut, UBS Whistleblower
Ana Gomes, former Portuguese MEP
Stelios Kouloglou, GUE/NGL MEP
Marisa Matias, GUE/NGL MEP
Miguel Ongil, Diputado in the Asamblea de Madrid
Miguel Urbán, GUE/NGL MEP
The dangers of being a Journalist, Whistleblower or Defender of the Right to Information in 2020
The right to information and human rights go hand in hand.
According to Reporters Without Borders – one of the world’s foremost defenders of journalistic freedom and the public’s right to information – nearly half the world’s population is still deprived of their right to have access to information at the turn of the 21st century.
With internet freedom also under threat with data privacy concerns and government snooping on its citizens, will our freedom of access to information also come under attack?
Courtesy of Private Manning Support Network on Flickr
Indeed, there are no safety guarantees to being a whistleblower or a journalist even at the heart of the European Union, with daily threats and intimidation from multinationals, criminals, lawyers, media companies – even central governments inside the EU.
Some have support networks but others work freelance or independently, and have no protection beyond the rule of law. However, the murders of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak in recent years, and the continuous prosecution against Rui Pinto mean current EU legislation offers very little in terms of human rights protection in such instances.
Over and over again, journalists and whistleblowers are taken to court by governments, sued by multinational corporations and now, with alarming frequency, assassinated in broad daylight for doing their jobs.
By silencing their voices, the public becomes less informed, whilst the elites and governments keep their dirty secrets – and money – private.
All the more important that journalists, whistleblowers and defenders of the right to information are given the necessary protection so that they – and we – can uphold the democratic rights and values that everyone deserves.
Daphne Caruana Galizia
Courageous, dogged and determined, Daphne Caruana Galizia was a most formidable journalist and whistleblower whose fearless crusade to undercover the truth was what ultimately led to her brutal and untimely death in October 2017.
Her death may have belatedly brought down the premiership of Malta’s Joseph Muscat in December 2019, and ushered in a constitutional crisis in the country, her killers though remain at large and the murder unresolved.
Caruana Galizia had spent years as a thorn in the side of politicians, the mafia and multinationals. Individuals with something to hide were relentlessly pursued in the name of public service.
She was the embodiment of a journalist, a whistleblower and defender to the right of information. As a Maltese and a European, she truly upheld the freedom of expression as a basic human right to inform and educate.
Feared by those with something to hide, but respected by her peers and loved by her readers and followers, the voice of Malta may have been silenced but Caruana Galizia’s immense legacy lives on.