“Today more than ever awareness-raising campaigns are of the utmost importance when it comes to promoting freedom of expression and press freedom. The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation’s generous contribution will help to secure the Prize’s prominent role in promoting press freedom worldwide,” said UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information J?nis K?rkli?š.
The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is also supported by the Cano Foundation and the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Foundation.
Finland-based the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation promotes and supports freedom of expression, mainly through research connected with communication and the communication industry, especially future-oriented research, or research that promotes the development of new innovations in the communication industry.
According to Heleena Savela, the Foundation President, freedom of expression has always been one of the particular fields of interest for the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. “We are very happy and proud to be sponsoring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2013 and thus being able to support this very important work of UNESCO,” she said.
During the year 2012, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has delivered four million euros for grants and fellowships. During its six years of operation, the Foundation has awarded in total approximately 23 million euros in grants and donations to 190 projects.
The next award ceremony of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will take place on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May 2013. Since 1997, UNESCO has awarded a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if risks have been involved.
The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. The murder of Guillermo Cano is significant in terms of unpunished crimes against journalists. Cano was a victim of drug trafficking mafias, which he fearlessly denounced and about whose harmful effects on Colombian society he cautioned. UNESCO has promoted the need for improved safety for journalists for many years and fought against impunity globally.