2020 Golden Pen of Freedom Award Ceremony Speech by Globe Editors Online Forum President Warren Fernandez

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” We will certainly inform the tales of the numerous take on males and females around the world that, in the face of relentless stress legal or industrial, physical or mental, real or virtual, from states or individuals state, as Jineth does, time after time, we will certainly not be silenced; we choose to endure, to maintain doing journalism.

” Excellent night, their Majesties, the King and also Queen of Spain, Excellencies; Other editors and also reporters; Ladies and also Gentlemen,.

Covid-19 has robbed us all of our freedom.

We are not able to move the globe as freely as we had actually expanded used to.

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So, however, I am here in Singapore, speaking with you from my newsroom, not able to be with you in Spain.

Also in your home, we can t fulfill family and friends as we please, to hug and to hold, without masks, without concern, of what we may be getting or passing on.


In addition to the coronavirus, another pandemic – of false information and phony information – has actually been let loose.

In the process, our audiences and areas have discovered themselves tough pushed to inform if they can believe what they read, and also probably even what they see.

And also as the economic influence of the break out takes its toll, our newsrooms have actually found themselves deprived of revenues and also resources.

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The result: tasks, incomes, and sometimes, even the extremely presence of newsrooms, have been placed at serious threat.

Meanwhile, populists, racists, autocrats, and demagogues are on the march partly of the globe, inspired by the anxiousness and confusion of the times. As W.B. Yeats placed it: Points break down, the centre can not hold; the very best absence all sentence, while the most awful teem with passionate strength.

And also when faced with these stress, several in the media are locating their capability to run cabined, cribbed, constrained, to obtain words of Shakespeare.

The bitter paradox is this: never ever prior to have audiences relied on our newsrooms in such numbers as well as in such demand for trustworthy, dependable info, to help them understand advancements, to divide truth from fiction, to figure out how to safeguard themselves and also their families, their source of incomes and also their lives.

Never before has the job of expert newsrooms as well as qualified media been even more important to the health and health of our cultures.

As journalists as well as editors, we need to take courage, we need to persist; we have to carry on despite our obstacles and difficulties.

It is fitting then that today, we come together to honour one of our very own, and her outstanding story of nerve and determination.

Despite unspeakable crimes, personal suffering as well as embarrassment, she has actually refused to be cowed and silenced. She continues to look for as well as speak out versus corruption, misuse of power, as well as physical violence – versus females and versus journalists.

I am talking, certainly, of our champion for this year s Golden Pen of Freedom, Ms Jineth Bedoya Lima.

On 25 May 2000, while examining records of alleged arms sales in between paramilitaries and state officials, for her newspaper, El Espectador, she went to the well-known La Modelo jail in Bogota, for a meeting.

It was a trap.

This is how she states what happened in numerous interviews:.

” When I reached the prison entryway, a woman asked if I was the reporter. I was about to address when a guy came, placed his arm round my waistline, a gun to my side, and also stated he would kill me if I did not begin strolling.

They linked my hands and also feet, blindfolded me and also place me in a vehicle. We drove for a long time.

I was taken to a storehouse where there were other guys.

Which is when they began torturing me.

I was beaten, began the head, in the body, in the tummy, on the legs.

They informed me that the press profanes in this nation.

Focus. We are sending out a message to journalism.

As well as they defeat me up. They grabbed me by the hair. They raped me.

After some time, Jineth was driven to another place – as well as disposed, nude, by the roadside.

Astonishingly, in spite of this harrowing experience, she was back at her workdesk in the newsroom 2 weeks later.

She claimed absolutely nothing, but returned to the beat, covering criminal offenses as well as offenses in Colombia, as previously.

Beyond her work, though, she began speaking with other females who had experienced similar experiences – for my very own reasons, not for job,” she says.

3 years later, in 2003, this moment while benefiting El Tiempo, as she was travelling with a photographer to fulfill members of the FARC, the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, she was abducted once again, and also held for eight days.

We were kidnapped, held this time not raped, however embarrassed and beaten, she states.

For six even more years, Jineth proceeded her work as a journalist, but rarely spoke a word openly about what had happened to her.

Ultimately, in 2009, she determined to damage her silence.

This is just how she clarifies why, in an interview with the Guardian:.

” I had fulfilled many ladies who had experiences comparable to mine, yet the state would certainly not identify these criminal offenses. Nobody intended to explore it, or perhaps speak about it. When I wanted to seek my very own case, and also spoke to the cops medical facility for the evidence, it had actually all been destroyed.”.

That year, she introduced the No Es Hora De Callar (It is not time to be quiet) campaign to denounce the systematic immunity in situations of sexual violence amid Colombia s internal battle.

Three lengthy years later on, in 2012, the Colombian Public District attorneys workplace lastly recognized her torment as well as sexual offense a crime against humanity.

In 2016, she was chosen for the Nobel Peace Reward for her work in defense of women s civil liberties and also against sex physical violence and also impunity in Colombia.

In a site judgment in 2019, the Inter-American Commission on Civil Rights (IACHR) held the Colombian state responsible for the acts dedicated against her almost two decades back, and also referred her situation to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

In April this year, Jineth was granted the 2020 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Flexibility Reward.

Her battle for justice her own along with for females worldwide who have actually suffered sexual physical violence continues, in addition to her work as a reporter at the El Tiempo, where she is currently Deputy Editor.

Typically, when asked by interviewers just how she endured those dark days of bondage and also torment, as well as how she maintained going, her replies have been clear as well as consistent: I will certainly not be silenced; I select to endure, to keep doing journalism.

Each time when journalists, females, and minorities are under such excellent threat of violence, injustice, and discrimination, in so many areas around the globe, the nerve and also sentence of Jineth Bedoya-Lima, is a radiating ideas.

We will certainly do well to bear in mind those unquestionable words of hers – I will certainly not be silenced; I pick to survive, to keep doing journalism and find relief and toughness in them.

In the tough days ahead, as we remain to come to grips with Covid-19, we will have to restore as well as rejuvenate our ruined newsrooms. We will have to discover new methods to maintain them and maintain them going, to pick to endure, to keep doing journalism, in the interests of the communities we serve.

Yet, daunting as the obstacles in advance may be, ultimately, the pandemic will certainly pass.

But also for a few of our associates worldwide, the scourge of violence as well as intimidation, the apprehensions and murders of reporters, and the brazen attempts to undermine the reliability of our reporters as well as newsrooms will certainly proceed. This year, another 17 of our colleagues have actually been eliminated while doing their work, in places like Mexico, Syria, Iraq and also Afghanistan.

Sadly, there is no injection against corruption and also misuse of power, racism or sexual harassment, populism and demagoguery.

Among the crucial methods of inoculating our societies versus these remaining sickness, I think, is through promoting openness, inclusivity and also understanding, promoting truths and also truth, pursuing justness, neutrality as well as equilibrium. Yes, simply put, safeguarding good journalism.

On September 28, we will certainly mark Globe News Day. Some 100 newsrooms from worldwide will certainly stand with each other to showcase the job of expert journalists – the influence they have, and also differences they make – to the health and wellness and wellness of our societies.

We will inform the stories of the lots of endure males and females all over the world that, despite relentless stress lawful or commercial, physical or psychological, actual or virtual, from states or individuals declare, as Jineth does, time after time, we will not be silenced; we choose to survive, to keep doing journalism.

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