The European Press Prize proudly welcomes our newest board member, Marie Nemcova, Chief Operating Officer of Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). Based in Prague, she has over 25 years of experience in media and international development.
What is the value of awarding quality journalism?
“Neither press freedom nor quality journalism is guaranteed and should not be taken for granted. We should constantly remind ourselves of their importance and the essential role they play in any society, even if there are nuances in perception of exact criteria defining it across regions and cultures. Selecting and awarding outstanding journalism in the public interest underlines their value, shows the examples to follow, gives strength to those dedicating their lives to the journalistic profession and assures them they are not alone on this important path.”
Coming from an organisation like MDIF, how do you see journalism in Europe evolving if there were to be more initiatives to support independent media?
“2020 clearly showed the vital importance of access to reliable, trustworthy information as well as the need to hold governments and other power holders to account, be it in Europe or any other place, even more so while the spreading of misinformation is constantly on the rise. Although MDIF mainly focuses on the business side of media, we can see the pandemic has reinforced the importance of quality journalism in the public interest and has provided an opportunity for deeper audience engagement, with potential implications and opportunities on the business (revenue) side.”
“Selecting and awarding outstanding journalism in the public interest underlines their value, shows the examples to follow, gives strength to those dedicating their lives to the journalistic profession and assures them they are not alone on this important path.”
What do you look forward to as an European Press Prize board member?
“I consider it a great privilege to get a chance to interact with the Press Prize board and members of other bodies and be exposed to their thoughts about quality journalism, its role and its future. Having served for several years on the board of a similar organisation at a national level, I am also eager to see what experience can be applied and what lessons learned in order to best achieve the shared mission of these awards.”
Is there a particular story or organisation from your years in media that impacted you in a great way?
“Over and over again, I am amazed by the determination and bravery of media professionals working in extremely hard conditions, be it due to political oppression, civil wars, natural disasters, lack of financial resources or – more often than not – a combination of various hardships, who remain devoted to their mission and keep delivering critically important content to their respective audiences. I consider meeting these heroes and heroines literally all over the world the biggest blessing of my 25+ years with MDIF as well as a great source of hope.”