The Board of Trustees of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation on December 11, 2012, made a contribution of $ 25,000 to sponsor the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2013.
The Foundation based in Finland promotes and supports freedom of expression. It does this 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 Ms Heleena Savela, the Foundation President, freedom of expression has always been one of the particular fields of interest for the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. She said: “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.”
In appreciation of the Foundation’s support, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Mr. Jānis Kārkliņš, said: “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.”
The UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom 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. Cano was a victim of drug trafficking mafias, which he fearlessly denounced and about whose harmful effects on Colombian society he cautioned.
His murder is significant as it draws attention to impunity in crimes against journalists. UNESCO has promoted the need for improved safety for journalists for many years and fought against impunity globally.
The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is also supported by the Cano Foundation and the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Foundation.
Since 1997, UNESCO has awarded the prize annually to 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 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.
During its six years of operation, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has awarded approximately €23 million in grants and donations to 190 projects. In the year 2012 alone, it awarded four million euros for grants and fellowships.