Monday, February 10, 2014

AFP To Co-sponsor Peter Mackler Award



The international news agency Agence France-Presse has joined the advisory board of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, the Mackler family announced today.

“AFP is very happy to provide support for the award issued in memory of Peter, who played such a vital role over nearly three decades in building the agency's international activities and reputation,” said David Millikin, AFP’s director for North America who will represent AFP on the advisory board.

 
 A project established in memory of long-time AFP correspondent Peter Mackler, the award annually honours an international journalist who has achieved success under repressive conditions.

“AFP brings precious international help and support to our project,” said Camille Mackler, one of Peter’s daughters and the project director. “Five years on, we all have witnessed the positive impact of the award. AFP's contribution will strengthen our capacity to support independent journalism around the world, and more specifically in countries that impede free speech.”

The project was established in 2008 in collaboration with the international NGO Reporters without Borders, a key partner.

The late Peter Mackler spent 30 years of his journalism career at AFP in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States as a correspondent, war reporter, editor and bureau chief, among other capacities. He mentored young AFP correspondents and established an independent journalism training program for students and foreign journalists.

The award has honored J.S.Tissainayagam from Sri Lanka, Ilya Barabanov from Russia, Karla Rivas from Honduras, Lukpan Akhmedyarov from Khazakstan and Faisal Mohamed Salih from Sudan.

“The Mackler family has created something of great importance, not only for the award's recipients but for the nations where courageous reporters know their work is being followed and recognized abroad,” said Marcus Brauchli former executive editor of the Washington Post and former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. The honorees are selected by daughters Camille and Lauren Mackler, and Catherine Antoine, Peter's wife.

“The award is a great source of inspiration when individual journalists, often working alone, confront powerful governments and organized criminal gangs,” said J.S. Tissainayagam who received the award while jailed in 2009.

Recipients are flown to the US in October for an award ceremony at the National Press Club. In New York, they address students and faculty of the Columbia University School of Journalism, and in Washington, D.C., they meet with policy makers in think tanks and government agencies.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism is a project of the Global Media Forum, a U.S. non-profit company.

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