February 21, 2019, is the first anniversary of assassination of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová. Ján Kuciak was a Slovak investigative journalist, who worked for the news website Aktuality.sk, a news service of Ringier Axel Springer. He focused mainly on investigating tax fraud of Slovak businessmen with connections to top-level Slovak politicians. He and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, were killed on February 21, 2018, in their home in Slovakia.
Peter Bárdy, Editor-in-Chief of Aktuality.sk: «The murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová erased the invisible line between us journalist and our readers. We joined together, to fight for freedom and democracy, which have a difficult position in our country, even almost 30 years since the Velvet Revolution. We have to protect them. And it is important that independent media are not alone in this fight.»
Mark Dekan, CEO Ringier Axel Springer Media AG: «What happened to Ján will always remind us that we have to stand up to protect journalists in order to safeguard the fundament of free societies. Critical and independent journalism is one of the key pillars of democracy. Journalists have to bring facts to life, hold decision makers accountable and stand for democratic values. They have an important mission and we have to enable them to pursue it in today’s world.»
Valdo Lehari Jr., Vice-President of ENPA: «The unjust murder of Ján Kusiak remains a stark reminder to the European Union and Member States of the importance of constant efforts in upholding the highest democratic standards and protecting journalists and the media who are an essential pillar of open democracies.»
During the Press Freedom Conference representatives from the European Commission and Parliament, Slovak governments, publishers and journalists from all over Europe will discuss how to create framework conditions that encourage journalists and enable them to work critically and independently in the benefit of democratic societies.
The agenda of Press Freedom Conference is available here: https://pressfreedomconference.com
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications