Opening Speech

Gleb Fetisov, Founder of the Fetisov Journalism Awards

Opening Speech

Zurich, Switzerland

April 22nd, 2021


Dear friends and colleagues,

It is my pleasure and honor to welcome you!

We are coming together in difficult times, as you know. The world is changing rapidly. A new world order is evolving and this change is accelerating dramatically with the force of the pandemic.

Sadly, one of the major negative implications of this change is that fact that the concepts of justice and truth run the risk of becoming irrelevant, and worse, avoided in this developing world order.  The pressure on the free press has never been greater. Politicians and governments use journalists only as the servants of their own interests. Creativity, thought and truth are eradicated from this profession. New journalistic forms require ideological brainwashing and manufacturing an alternate reality. And this must be reinforced by key phrases, tag sets and optimization techniques, - in other words, a re-write of facts or the relevance in truth for spreading across social media. Fact-based journalism is supplanted by pseudo-investigations and dubious facts and opinions in countless fake talk shows and across social media.

But today, unique people have gathered here with a mission that is vital to our time. Their mission is to uncover and speak the truth and seek justice. In the name of this sacred mission, my family has established an award. The award is conceived from a worldwide search for, and an opportunity to find, celebrate and support worthy and courageous journalists. The award is meant to give them courage, standing and visibility, to ensure that the journalistic community and audiences in different countries know about them, what they write, and how courageous and focused they are in carrying forth truth and enlightenment.  

I am proud to announce that the award has taken place. Many entries from all over the world were presented to the jury. I thank the jury, the competition committee, the Board of Directors of the Fetisov Charitable Foundation, everyone who sent publications. I thank the steering committee. I would like to thank everyone who is involved in the award and who strives for it to become a phenomenon within the international journalistic community.

You, the writers of the winning publications, are heroes. Today it is difficult for you and all journalists who seek to express the truth and objective opinion. You are hunted, persecuted, killed, and vilified.

Many in society may consider journalism to be a rudimentary profession. But I want to make this statement: If human nature looks within itself with honesty and an understanding of the inevitability of the progress of enlightenment, it will know that a liberated, honest and informed journalism is perhaps the most vital of check on governments and populist crowds with delusional, corrosive and self-serving goals.

People want to understand how the world works and why they live in it. People ask questions and want truthful answers. You are the interpreters and carriers of this knowledge and you express and support the real meaning of life. The prize is designed to help you and all real journalism fulfill this duty and serve the good.

Congratulations to all the winners of the award. We admire you and applaud you. Together we will pave the way for truth and justice. We will make the world a better place. The truth is on our side and only together we will win!