Updated: Nov 11, 2019
By JOYCE BARNATHAN
The International Center for Journalists' 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner on November 7 celebrated outstanding journalists who speak truth to power and have great impact. The honorees challenged journalists to fight corruption, speak up for the powerless and stand up to those who seek to distort the truth.
Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, called on journalists to be “unshakably committed to our mission in a democracy.” He said journalists have no alternative but to push back against those who cynically distort the truth in the service of political ambition. Baron was honored with the ICFJ Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism for a lifetime commitment to the highest professional standards. Read more or watch his tribute video and remarks.
Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News’ senior international correspondent, said strong international reporting is one of the most powerful weapons against “dog-whistle populism” and politicians who work to divide people into “us” and “them.” She received ICFJ’s Excellence in International Reporting Award for her courageous reports from global hotspots. Read more or watch her tribute video and remarks.
Serbia is a good case study for how autocrats dismantle a democracy, said Knight Award winner Stevan Dojčinović, founder of the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) in Serbia. He said his country is a weak democracy compared to the U.S. but warned that the same thing could happen here, beginning with undermining the media. Read more or watch his tribute video and remarks.
Journalists must strive to tell stories that change perceptions and make people’s lives better, said Rose Wangui, a features reporter with Kenya’s NTV and our other Knight Award honoree. She tackles issues such as sexual bondage of young girls and violence against Kenyan women workers overseas with great compassion. Read more or watch
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer served as master of ceremonies for the evening. New Yorker and CBS News cartoonist Liza Donnelly provided live coverage of the night’s event. Please check out her terrific drawings, and our photo gallery.
The International Center for Journalists is one of the co-sponsors of Global Business Journalism, along with Tsinghua University and Bloomberg News.
Joyce Barnathan is ICFJ president. She is one of the co-founders of the Global Business Journalism program.