Internews Fellows Express Their Views on Press Freedom at a Meeting in Paris

In May 2014, Internews invited nine journalists to take part in the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Paris, France as Internews Fellows. The invitees were selected based on their outstanding work in the field of journalism in the context of their country. 

In Paris the fellows had the opportunity to contribute to the dialogue on press freedom, attend a journalism security training and meet with the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Uzra Zeya. During a closed roundtable with Zeya, the fellows were able to discuss and address issues of press freedom in their countries, furthering the understanding of challenges journalists face globally.

Biographies of the Internews Fellows

Katya Gorchinskaya, Ukraine

Regional Editor for Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Deputy Chief Editor, Kyiv Post

Katya Gorchinskaya is an accomplished Ukrainian journalist who has been Deputy Chief Editor of Ukraine’s leading English-language newspaper, the Kyiv Post, since 2008. Ms. Gorchinskaya is also the Regional Editor for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a non-profit network of investigative journalism centers, and a regular contributing reporter with to the Wall Street Journal. Her work is widely cited in western media reporting on Ukraine’s current political crisis. She is also a sought-after commentator at conferences and international and local television programs on Ukraine’s politics and current affairs. Her varied journalistic experience includes hosting the television program, Free People which is devoted primarily to economic issues.

Nataliya Gumenyuk, Ukraine

Ukrainian journalist, co-founder of Hromadske.TV

Hromadske TV is an initiative of Ukrainian journalists to create a public broadcasting system in Ukraine. As an international correspondent Ms. Gumenyuk has reported on major political and social events from nearly 60 countries. During the last years, she has been focused on post-Arab spring developments in the Arab world. She has cooperated with a number of Ukrainian and international media, including Esquire Ukraine, Ukrainska Pravda, the Ukrainian Week magazine, 1+1 TV, Open Democracy Russia. During recent uprising in Ukraine, she commentated for Al Jazeera English, CNN, BBC, Monocle24, CTV Canada, etc. Ms. Gumenyuk teaches Global Journalism at the Kyiv Mohyla School of Journalism and retains an MA in Global Journalism from Orebro University, Sweden.

K.W. Janaranjana, Sri Lanka

Editor-in-Chief, Ravaya Weekly Newspaper

Mr. Janaranjana is Editor-in-Chief of Ravaya. Ravaya is a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka that is not affiliated to any political party. Its mission is to uphold the rule of law, promote democracy, and secure the independence of the judiciary and further ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Mr. Janaranjana is a lawyer by training and an active member of Lawyers for Democracy (LFD) and Citizens’ Rights.  LFD is an organization that stands to uphold the rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka. LFD conducts meetings, discussions and media briefings island-wide (including northern Sri Lanka) on the issues of rule of law, democracy and human rights. Citizens’ Rights is a citizen’s collective striving to promote the issues of right to information, democracy and rule of law. In addition to his responsibilities as an Editor, Mr. Janaranjana has been a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Professional Studies (CFPS) Colombo, which trains candidates sitting for the entrance examination of the Sri Lanka Law College.

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai, Sri Lanka

Journalist/Blogger

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai is a multiple award-winning journalist from Sri Lanka. She is a passionate journalist and photojournalist, and has more than 20 years of experience in the field of journalism. She has covered various issues including human rights, media freedom, women’s rights, war widows, violence against women, ex combatants and their plight, land and sea grab in the name of development, families of the disappeared and families of the surrendees and their endless search. Her thought provoking photographs have been selected for books, reports, and publications as cover photos, and have been displayed at various exhibitions around the world. Dushiyanthini is an avid blogger as well; her extensive work can be read online at www.PassionParade.blogspot.com.

Marco Antonio Ruiz Silvera, Venezuela

Journalist, Últimas Noticias

Mr. Ruiz is a journalist at Últimas Noticias and a lecturer at the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Venezuela. He also serves as the Secretary General for the National Syndicate of Press Workers, an organization which represents all press workers of all modes of communication in Venezuela.  Mr. Ruiz is also a founding member of the National Commission for the Protection of Journalists and the Alliance for Freedom of Expression in Venezuela.  In 2009 he was one of the 12 journalists which were attacked and hurt in the center of Caracas by pro-government supporters of then President Hugo Chávez.

Mon Mon Myat, Myanmar

Creative Media

Mon Mon Myat is founder of Creative Media House (CMH) set up to produce documentary films and books about political and social affair in Myanmar. She is co-founder of Yangon Press International (YPI) set up to cover Burma’s Elections in 2010.  She has reported for Agence France-Presse (AFP), Inter Press Service (IPS), Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), NyTid (Norwegian News Agency).  She completed an MA in Journalism at Ateneo de Manila University in 2008. She has covered the monk protests in 2007 and Cyclone Nargis in 2008. She is occasionally contributing feature stories and investigative reports to Bangkok Post Newspaper, Spectrum.

Gregory Pasko, Russia

Journalist

Gregory Pasko is a Russian journalist, former officer of the Russian Navy, Amnesty International designated prisoner of conscience, and founding editor of Ecology and Law, an environmental and citizens’ rights magazine. In November 1997, Pasko was arrested by Russian Federal Security Service agents in Vladivostok. He was accused of espionage for his publications on environmental problems in the Japanese sea, but initially found not guilty, due to lack of evidence. He was found guilty of “abuse of his official position”, but released immediately under a general amnesty. After several re-trials, the Court of the Pacific Fleet ultimately acquitted Pasko on all counts except espionage, sentencing him to four years of imprisonment for treason on December 25, 2001. He was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. In 2003, he was released from detention. While imprisoned in 2002, Paso received a human rights award from Reporters without Borders.

Ilya Klishin, Russia

TVRain.ru

Ilia Klishin is editor-in-chief of TVRain.ru website, Russia’s last independent TV channel, which has lately been undergoing a massive attack from Putin’s government.  Mr. Klishin is a regular contributor to Vedomosti. He is a popular blogger, expert on social media, and one of the organizers of Russian protests for fair elections in 2011-2012.  Mr. Klishin has studied in Russia, Greece, and the US.

Tamoa Calzadilla, Venezuela

Journalist

Ms. Tamoa Calzadilla is a journalist with over 20 years of experience and a specialization in investigative journalism.  In 2006, Ms. Calzadilla was the winner of the Premio IPYS/Transparency International award for her work around the murder of Danil Anderson and was awarded the 2005 Monseñor Pellín for best social commentator.  From 2009-2011, she was the presenter of the program Hola Caracas, which won the first edition of the Premio Civico por las Caracas Posible award in 2010.  Ms. Calzadilla is a member of the Advisory Council of Press and Society, a professor at Andres Bello Catholic University and coauthor of Stories Behind Poverty (Ucab Poverty Project 2006).