Secretary Kerry Salutes Courage and Commitment of ICFJ and Its Honorees

By Jerri Eddings

Secretary of State John Kerry praised the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) for preparing media professionals to meet the challenges of today’s world, where he said the global economy and trust in governance are at risk because of corruption.

“The International Center is one means that journalists have to prepare for the risks and the challenges of your calling,” said Kerry in a special video address at the ICFJ annual Awards Dinner. “The training you provide, the networking you offer, the advocacy that you undertake, and the opportunity for learning that you create, are all absolutely vital, and I thank you and congratulate you for it.”

He also expressed appreciation for the “courage, talent and dedication of professional journalists” who expose the truth. Kerry praised ICFJ award winners Charlie Rose, Clarissa Ward, Miranda Patrucic and Carmen Aristegui for their “fearless commitment to the high standards that define journalism at its best.”

“We need you, a courageous and professional independent press, to hold us all accountable, to tell the stories that would otherwise go untold, to expose the falsehoods that would otherwise pass for truth, and place before all people in every country all over the world, objective information that would otherwise never see the light of day,” he said.

Though we live in an information age, “the pursuit of truth has not become easier over time,” said Kerry. “I think it’s fair to say it’s even more difficult, more dangerous, notwithstanding the plethora of platforms that spew out information.”

He said those greedy for power use a range of unsavory methods to hide or corrupt the truth, including censorship, disinformation, harassment, arbitrary arrests, kidnapping and even murder.

“The entire global economy and trust in governance at every level is today at risk because of the breadth of corruption and attempts to conceal it,” he said.