Polish Ambassador Honors Winners of Ronald D. Asmus Freedom Journalism Contest
On December 20, Polish Ambassador to the United States Robert Kupiecki spoke about the importance of democracy promotion at the reception for the winners of the 2011 Ronald D. Asmus Freedom Journalism Contest. The contest, created through a partnership between the German Marshall Fund and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, awarded five prizes to graduate and undergraduate U.S. journalism students for print and multimedia entries on the topic of democracy in Belarus.
In his remarks, Ambassador Kupiecki said that the late Ron Asmus’ legacy would be honored by the work of the winners and the attention their entries will bring to the conflict in Belarus. The Ambassador also saw this as an opportunity to express the importance of a strong U.S.-Polish relationship moving forward and continued cooperation between Poland and the German Marshall Fund.
GMF President Craig Kennedy, who gave the opening remarks, thanked the Ambassador for his help in successfully opening a new GMF office in Warsaw. Kennedy also extended his sympathies to the friends and family of Andrei Sannikov and explained that GMF is deeply invested in the current situation in Belarus and has worked for many years to support civil society in the country. He finally spoke on the importance of Asmus’ contributions to strengthening the transatlantic relationship and his recognition of the value of honest, hard-hitting journalism.
Victoria Cook, from Johns Hopkins University, won the grand prize in the print category for her essay Stand and Applaud: The Courage of Belarus’ Revolution via Social Networks.Wojtunik, from the City University of New York, won the multimedia grand prize for her flash presentation Freedom in Belarus. Maximilian Seddon, from Columbia University, and William Schreiber, from George Washington University, were the graduate and undergraduate runner ups for the print category, respectively. Nadzeya Batson, from American University, was the multimedia runner-up.