A Warrior For Truth, Information and Democracy

The Steering Committee of the Fetisov Journalism Awards has issued the following statement on the death of Christophe Deloire, a supporter and former judge of the FJA.

The passing of Christophe Deloire, the Director General of Reporters Without Borders, who died on 8 June at the age of 53, has robbed the world of an extraordinary campaigner and fighter for the rights of journalists.

Christophe’s untimely death has shocked the media development community worldwide. For 12 years he was the face of a global struggle to keep journalists safe and to forge a new landscape that put ethical and quality journalism at the heart of strategies for information and democracy.

He demonstrated that the fight for press freedom cannot be fought by single organisations but can only be won through coalitions, in particular with human rights defenders and organisations that represent news media and journalists.

Under his leadership he transformed Reporters Without Borders, putting it in the forefront of discussions with governments and independent groups to build structures for dialogue and action in defence of free speech and quality communications.

His vision was not just to condemn and expose the tyranny of the enemies of independent journalism but to create practical and viable mechanisms to make the world of journalism a better place, even in regions where corrupt politics, civil disorder and war-mongering have made it a dangerous business to speak the truth and to fight for information freedom.

He was also a great supporter of initiatives like the Fetisov Journalism Awards. In the first years of our work he was one of our volunteer judges.

He believed in our vision of paying tribute to the best of journalists in a global community separated by geography, culture and language.

He saw more than most that, despite their differences, journalists and independent news media can be united by a shared commitment to the truth and ethical values that underpin the social role of journalism in all societies.

His death robs us all of a great friend and ally and his talents will be sorely missed, but his legacy of innovation, courage in the face of reckless abuse of power and a commitment to a better world built on freedom and democracy will continue.

Like so many of the activists and leaders from the community of human rights and journalism who have mourned his passing and who have shared their profound admiration for the contribution he has made, we send our most sincere condolences to his friends, family and colleagues. 

We do so with heavy hearts, but we take comfort from the knowledge that the inspiration he provided means that the work he led so valiantly will continue. 


"On a daily basis journalists and others need to work together to create the conditions in which quality journalism can survive and develop, while ensuring its freedom, because, as Albert Camus said, "a free press can be either good ot bad, but without freedom it can assuredly only be bad".

Christophe Deloire

FJA Annual 2019 "Reporting the truth: Journalism that Illuminates the World"