Axel Springer SE CEO, Mathias Döpfner, has issued a statement emphasising the ongoing importance of free and independent reporting on the ground in Ukraine, as Vladimir Putin continues his assault on the country. The comments come as Axel Springer provides €500,000 to assist the activities and investigative reporting of Ukraine-based media outlets.
“In war, truth is the first casualty,” says Döpfner. “Free, independent reporting on the ground is indispensable to prevent this. While our correspondents can make a valuable contribution in that regard, promoting the country’s own media sector and safeguarding its very existence is even more important. Ukrainian journalists are currently working under the most arduous of conditions, often even risking their lives. Through monetary and in-kind donations, we want to help them not only continue but also expand their important work.”
The Axel Springer journalistic brands such as BILD, WELT, Politico, Onet and Insider are supporting their Ukrainian colleagues on the frontlines, with assistance including coverage of transport costs, bulletproof vests and satellite phones.
One of the recipients is a coalition including Ukraine’s Media Development Foundation, the Fix Media, and English-language news portal The Kyiv Independent. Thanks to their in-depth, authentic and above all independent war reporting, the portal’s journalists have gained great respect for their coverage both nationally and internationally.
President Zelensky honoured
The company also announced today that President Volodymyr Zelensky has been honoured with the 2022 Axel Springer Award. The annual award is presented to personalities who have had an exceptional and innovative hand in shaping the cultural landscape, lived up to their social responsibility or changed markets.
In a release sent out earlier today, Axel Springer said: ‘In 2022, no one is a more worthy recipient than the president of the nation literally fighting on the front lines for everything we believe defines a free society.’
You can read the full statement here.
Main Image: Shutterstock/Oleksandr Polonskyi