Trust grantee Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP), based in Bogota, Colombia, has been recognised with the prestigious Journalist of the Year prize at the Simón Bolívar Awards 2019. This is in recognition of their work defending freedom of the press in Colombia, including their initiative La Liga Contra el Silencio (League Against Silence), which aims to tackle self-censorship outside of Bogotá by bringing journalists from outside the capital to investigate controversial and potentially dangerous topics. The award also celebrates FLIP’s work Ruedas Creando Redes (Wheels Creating Networks), a radio show which is broadcasted to areas of the country with poor or no access to local news. La Liga Contra el Silencio’s work has initiated discussion on a number of topical issues, including sexual harassment in Spain’s women’s football team and alleged censorship in Colombian National Radio and Television.
Colombia’s current hostile climate for journalists is illustrated by the increase in recent attacks on and death threats made towards journalists, culminating in the murder of two journalists. The Journalist of the Year Award celebrates FLIP’s impact in this environment despite such challenges, as well as those posed by the economic crisis, political influence and the rise of technology, commending their efforts to collectively defend journalism through collaboration with other defenders of freedom of expression in Colombia.
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