Hasan Cemal, esteemed journalist and instructor at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Faculty of Communication, received the "Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism" from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. Nieman Fellows in the class of 2015 chose Cemal for the honor in recognition of a long career dedicated to championing freedom of the press in Turkey and as a representative of all Turkish journalists working today under increasingly difficult conditions. According to the Nieman Fellows, “Critical voices and a free press are vital to a healthy democracy, which Turkey professes to be. We applaud all those like Cemal and others who work to ensure that the media in Turkey can do their job without fear or favor.”
Cemal is the co-founding president of Punto24, a nonprofit initiative aimed at promoting editorial independence, best journalistic practice, and the use of digital media in Turkey. He is also the author of 12 books. In his acceptance speech, Cemal talked about the many challenges facing Turkish journalists today, including direct government interference, censorship, arrests and prison terms, which are all hampering the functioning of a free press.
Watch a video of Cemal's speech at the Nieman Foundation's website.