Ukrainian Journalist Wins International Press Freedom Award
Ukrainian journalist Oleksiy Matsiuka is this year’s winner of the International Press Freedom Award
Ukraine, or rather certain parts of it, where Russian-backed aggression has been going on for months, is certainly a dangerous place for journalists. Oleksiy had to flee his native city of Donetsk in April. Shortly after he co-authored an article that linked separatist leaders to Moscow, his car was torched. Flyers with his photograph and the word ‘traitor’ began appearing around the city. So he now continues his investigative reporting from the capital, Kyiv.
CBC journalist Carol Off is the CJFE Gala Chair. This is what she had to say about the Ukrainian journalist: “Oleksiy doggedly reports on corruption, abuses of power and the conflict between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces, despite ongoing threats and attacks. He outright refuses to be intimidated or silenced, and for this we’re very proud to honour him with the 2014 IPFA.”
Previous winners have included Egyptian Mohamed Abdelfattah (2011) and citizen journalist Rami Jarrah who covered the Syria story in 2012.
As soon as I learned that Oleksiy was in Toronto, I reached out and asked if he might be interested in speaking at the University of Toronto. I knew many would be eager to meet him, hear him speak, ask questions. Because my university is in London, Toronto professor Victor Ostapchuk took on the arrangements and made things happen. So, before receiving his award, Oleksiy will meet with students and faculty at the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies Jacyk Program. I wish I could be there.
For Public Radio Ukraine, Hromadske Radio, MD, London, Ontario