Ukrainian photojournalists Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov, who covered the events in Mariupol surrounded by russian troops, received the Press Freedom Awards in the category for Influence from the international non-profit organization Reporters without Borders (RSF). The award ceremony took place on Monday, December 12, in Paris. Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, addressed during the event.
“Symbolically that these days the International Federation of Journalists called on the world community to react, and the UN to adopt the Convention on the Protection of Journalists’ Rights. In 2022, 67 journalists were killed in the world. The largest number of media representatives among the 21st countries were killed in Ukraine. According to the monitoring data of the Institute of Mass Information, during the nine months of the full-scale war in Ukraine, more than 40 journalists were killed while performing their professional duties, nine were wounded, and at least 15 journalists went missing,” said the Ukrainian minister.
Among the crimes of russians: threats and harassment of journalists, shelling and seizure of TV towers, hacker attacks on Ukrainian media sites, attacks on media offices, turning off Ukrainian broadcasting, blocking access to Ukrainian media sites in the occupied territories. More than a hundred regional media were forced to stop work due to threats from russian occupiers, the capture of editorial offices, and the impossibility of working under the conditions of temporary occupation.
“Being a journalist during a war is a special mission – it is to be a reliable source of information and to be ready to give one’s life for the truth. In this war, we defend our freedom of speech, our right to the truth. And journalists bring it to the world. Associated Press photojournalists Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov deservedly became laureates of many Ukrainian and international awards this year. Thank you for your dedication to your cause and your country. Thank you to the Press Freedom Awards of RSF for the recognition,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko.
Also, in 2022, two press workers who are currently in prison received the award for Press Freedom from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). They are Iranian journalist and human rights defender Nargis Muhammadi and Moroccan investigative journalist Omar Radi. In total, 15 journalists and mass media from 15 countries of the world were nominated for the award this year.