The Greste Award recognises the achievements of courageous and pioneering work that expands and protects freedom of expression. Nominees were considered by representatives of journalist and human rights organisations from the Baltic States, alongside international freedom of expression organisation "Article 19". The prize is awarded to one winner from each of the three Baltic states.
The Greste Award winner from Latvia in 2018 is Re:Baltica (rebaltica.lv) - one of the strongest sources of investigative journalism in the Baltics. Re:Baltica covers issues such as corruption, the activities of Russian spies in the region, Russian money laundering, and problems in Latvia’s medical system.
The prize was also awarded to journalists from Estonia and Lithuania. The award for Estonia went to journalist Kadri Ibrus, of the Eesti Päevaleht newspaper for her consistent efforts in producing powerful material on difficult and unpopular issues on the Estonian healthcare system. The award for Lithuania went to the Lithuanian journalist community as a whole. They are honoured for their collective effort in fighting information access restrictions imposed by the Lithuanian government, and their efforts have contributed to the renewed emphasis on transparency by the State.
Towards the end of his speech, Peter Greste paid tribute to all the nominees and the communities and activists that support them: “The winners of tonight’s awards are individuals and organizations who the jury has recognized as not only being exponents of strong journalism and defenders of freedom of speech. They are people who, through their work, have helped give the public reason to trust and to have confidence in those most fundamental ideas. They are people who stand not only for good journalism but for a strong democracy.
But they are also brave people. When journalists are doing their jobs, they become pebbles in the shoes of our political leaders. They are irritants and provocateurs, holding the powerful to account, and so they often attract the anger of the powerful. It means pressure and intimidation. Standing up to that, continuing to work in the face of such pressure takes courage and commitment. And as I well know, sometimes it means the prospect of imprisonment. Tonight, I honour each and every one of the finalists.”
The Award was organized by SSE Riga Centre for Media Studies, the Australian Embassy in Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, the Embassy of Sweden in Estonia, the Embassy of Finland in Latvia, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia, UNESCO and with the generous support of Anne-Marie and Gustaf Ander Foundation.