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Belize Prize for Investigative Journalism and University of Belize sign MoU on World Press Freedom Day

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2024. 3:47 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Today, the University of Belize and the Belize Prize for Investigative Journalism (BPIJ) announced their new partnership on World Press Freedom Day 2024.

UB President Vincent Palacio and prize founder Holly Edgell signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make Belize’s leading university the institutional host of the BPIJ, while Edgell retains operational and administrative management of the prize.

“It’s a fitting day to announce this partnership,” Edgell said.

“World Press Freedom Day is a reminder for Belizeans to respect our collective commitment to press freedom. In entering this agreement with the prize, UB is demonstrating its own support and commitment to journalists and journalism as a profession,” Edgell added.

Dr. Palacio said hosting the prize is a first step in exploring how UB could bring academic and training resources to the profession of journalism in the future.

“I see this partnership as fundamental to UB contributing not only to deepening investigative journalism in Belize, but also to strengthening the health of our democracy,” Dr. Palacio said.

Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, World Press Freedom Day acts as a reminder to governments to respect press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among journalists about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

The BPIJ, in its second year, is hosting its award ceremony on Saturday, May 4 at the House of Culture in Belize City at 6 p.m.

 The event is free and open to the public.

The prize winner will receive BZ$10,000 and two finalists will each receive BZ$5,000.

BPIJ is also is hosting an investigative journalism workshop on May 4.

One of the sessions will focus on opportunities and challenges in reporting on environmental journalism, which is the theme of World Press Freedom Day 2024. The workshop was made possible through support from the U.S. Embassy in Belize.


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