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Statement by Condoleeza Rice on the Peter Mackler Award

October 4, 2009

I am delighted to hear that you are honoring Peter’s legacy by recognizing courageous and ethical journalists with the Peter Mackler Award.  Throughout his distinguished thirty-three year career in journalism, Peter was a champion of the freedom of the press who fought tirelessly to defend the rights of reporters to publish stories without fear of retribution.

I always welcomed the chance to speak with him when he was a correspondent for Agence France-Presse.  As an educator myself, I was especially inspired by his work to establish the Global Media Forum to train journalists in developing countries so that they too could contribute to an informed citizenry that is at the center of a vibrant democracy.
I can think of no better way to honor the work of such a passionate journalist – and dedicated husband and father – than through the Peter Mackler Awards.  Although I regret not being able to join you at the awards ceremony, I am delighted to join you in celebrating the legacy of Peter Mackler.
Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.