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Freedom House leader awarded WPFC's first annual press freedom advocacy prize

(WPFC/IFEX) - The following is a 3 December 2008 WPFC press release:

Press Freedom Advocacy Prize Created, Freedom House Leader Is First Laureate

Reston, VA, USA, December 3, 2008 - The World Press Freedom Committee announced today that it has created the first annual award for press freedom champions, the Dana Bullen Press Freedom Advocacy Prize, in honor of the organization's first Executive Director.

The Committee also announced that the first Prize would be bestowed on veteran free press activist Leonard R. Sussman, Senior Scholar of Freedom House and its Executive Director for 21 years (1967-88), during which he created that organization's annual press freedom survey, now seen as the statistical standard, ranking how free the press is in every major country.

A prolific author on freedom of the press, Sussman has been tireless internationally, championing the right during major world controversies on press freedom for the past four decades. Among the 10 books he has written on the subject, was the first book length study, in 1989, of the likely impact of new media technologies, "Power, the Press and the Technology of Freedom."

The late Dana Bullen, himself a distinguished press freedom advocate, was the WPFC's director for 15 years, 1981-1996, and continued to be closely associated with it as Senior Adviser, until his death last year. A longtime working journalist, he was the Foreign Editor of The Washington Star until that newspaper went out of business in 1981.

The Prize is to be awarded by WPFC Chairman Richard Winfield, Esq., on Dec. 9 in conjunction with the Committee's 20th Annual Lecture on Global Communications Issues. This year's Lecture is to take place at the United Nations, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Lecture is to be delivered by Floyd Abrams, Esq., on "The U.S. First Amendment Tradition and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: After 60 Years, What relationship?" Abrams is widely viewed as the leading First Amendment lawyer, involved in landmark press freedom cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, starting in 1971 with the New York Times vs. the United States, the Pentagon Papers case.

The World Press Freedom Committee is an umbrella organization, bringing together 45 journalistic groups on five continents, representing labor and management and print, broadcast and online press, united to defend and further press freedom.

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