OLAF spokesman donates "Communicating the European Union" award to international safety fund for journalists
OLAF /09/14 Brussels, 16 October 2009
The spokesman and head of communications of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is the winner of the Italian award "International Journalism: Press Officer of the Year", in the category "Communicating the European Union", Public Administration sector. The laureate donates the cash prize to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for journalists who are the victim of violence. The prize will be awarded tomorrow, Saturday, 17 October, in Jesi (Italy).
OLAF Director-General, Franz-Hermann Brüner stated: "The European Anti-Fraud Office is very proud that the jury of the award has chosen our spokesman, Mr Alessandro Butticé, as the winner of this distinguished prize. This is a great encouragement for OLAF in our endeavour to fight and deter fraud not only through our investigations but also by informing the public." Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), stated: "We congratulate Mr. Butticé and we appreciate his solidarity with journalists on the frontline around the world, many of whom rely upon the IFJ Safety Fund as a lifeline in times of hardship." He added: "Many of these journalists are targeted for their work exposing corruption and maladministration in their own countries."
The 2009 edition of the Italian award "International Journalism: Press Officer of the Year" is sponsored by the Italian National Council of the Order of Journalists, the National Federation of the Italian Press and the Press Offices Journalists Group and other institutions. In their motivational statement, the award jury lauds the laureate for "having created, run and managed the OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators’ Network (OAFCN) and having signed, in 2005, a memorandum of understanding with the International Federation of Journalists, in order to reinforce mutual trust and cooperation in the field of anti-fraud information and communication".
In line with the OAFCN's philosophy and its memorandum of understanding signed with the IFJ, Mr Butticé donates the cash prize to the IFJ for its International Safety Fund for the Defence of Journalists and Media in order to "provide support to journalists and media who require legal support in the face of violence and intimidation for exercising their work".
The donation will be made at the award ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, 17 October, in Jesi (Italy) where Mr. Franco Siddi, President of the Italian Federazione Nazionale della Stampa, and member of the Board of the European Federation of Journalists, will receive the money on behalf of the IFJ.