Agnes Award for combative journalism: Francesca Paci’s commitment to Iranian women wins

Agnes Award for combative journalism: Francesca Paci's commitment to Iranian women wins


The Agnes 2023 prize for print media goes to Francesca Paci, journalist of The print. The prestigious recognition created 15 years ago by the Agnes Foundation in memory of the director general of Rai who was above all a journalist to honor the most authentic principles of correct information and the enhancement of its best representatives was presented yesterday evening by Agnese Pini, director of The nation, to the journalist for her commitment to telling the story of the Iranian women’s struggle for freedom and the recognition of rights which materialized with a long campaign in the newspaper and with the collection of over 300,000 signatures to save the life of Fahimeh Karimi, convicted of having kicked a paramilitary during a demonstration following the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old girl taken into custody by the Iranian morality police, last September 16, because a strand of hair escaped from her hijab. The signatures were then delivered to the Rome embassy by Paci, the director Massimo Giannini and the deputy director Andrea Malaguti last January.

Francesca Paci said: «This award is for Iranian women who are writing history without knowing if they will be the ones on the front line to tell it. From the voices I have gathered in recent months, but also in the years in which I have followed the wider Middle East on the ground, I have learned never to forget how much power we journalists have in the free world, still today. Telling stories can be an exercise in civil commitment ».

The evening conducted by Mara Venier and Albero Matano will be broadcast by Raiuno next July 4, in the late evening. Mara Venier tells the press: «I think I led them all, it is a very important journalistic award of great quality with a first-rate jury. I met Biagio Agnes even before doing television, I met him and his family when I was with Arbore. Renzo was a close friend of Agnes and when I got together with him, a great bond was born also with his wife. And then with her daughters. I loved him very much. He was a great supporter of love between Renzo and me and he told us that he would be our best man. He wanted us to get married. Then life took us elsewhere and we broke up. But when I met Nicola and decided to get married, I sent the wedding invitation to the family. One very early morning I get a call from him, I ask him if he has received the invitation. And he says to me: but I have to be the best man. I tell him that I’m not getting married to Renzo but to Nicola and he says: I don’t give a damn, I want to be your best man. I never thought it would be me one day to present his prize, there is a destiny in things. And there is another fatality: this is the 15th Agnes Award and next year it will be my 15th Sunday into. In the face of those who said I was old ». This year’s edition sees many valid professionals among the winners: a recognition of the talent and commitment of women, in a society still far from gender equality. And that for the first time sees international recognition. Yesterday evening in Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, received the prize for the European institutions. The Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, presented her with the honor. The award jury, chaired by Gianni Letta, chose for the story “in the field” and the testimony of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the correspondents Stefania Battistini of Tg1, and Lorenzo Cremonesi of Corriere della Sera, won the War Reporter Award. The director Pupi Avati was also awarded for his Dante, who said: «Thousands of kids seeing my film understood who this prodigious boy was. Dante and I are happy to be here tonight in 20 years since the cinema we have only had silences is the first prize ».

Many members of the government were also present at the ceremony: from Minister Sangiuliano, to Piantedosi, passing through Tajani, Gasparri and Casellati. From the world of entertainment: Marisa Laurito, Ezio Greggio, Gigi Marzullo and many Rai faces, including the new CEO Roberto Sergio and the presenter Annalisa Bruchi.

«Information is one of the main tools of democracy for a community: the Agnes Prize proudly continues its long history of commitment and passion for credible journalism accessible to all. It is enough to observe the complexity of the facts that happen near and far from us, on which it is necessary to stimulate reflection. And we want to do this by rewarding the work of those who tell reality every day with a free, profound, attentive gaze» said Simona Agnes, President of the Biagio Agnes Foundation.

Today, all the winners will go to an audience with Pope Francis.


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