Speakers | Golden Pen of Freedom Virtual Award Ceremony and ‘Where to Now for Press Freedom?’ Online Panel Discussion

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Golden Pen of Freedom Virtual Award Ceremony and ‘Where to Now for Press Freedom?’ Online Panel Discussion

Speakers | Golden Pen of Freedom Virtual Award Ceremony and ‘Where to Now for Press Freedom?’ Online Panel Discussion


Executive Vice President of Brand Safety, Group M, USA

John Montgomery is Group M’s Executive Vice President of Brand Safety. He was appointed to this role in August, 2016 to ensure that GroupM client’s brands are protected from risks in the digital supply chain, like fraud and piracy and to ensure that the digital components of their plans are effective in every region. John’s WPP career began when he joined Ogilvy in South Africa in 1989 as Media Director and launched Mindshare in that country. In the final three years he spent in South Africa, he was Managing Director of the Ogilvy Group in Cape Town, one of the most creative agencies in the Ogilvy Worldwide network. In 2001, John moved to Amsterdam as CEO, Ogilvy Group Netherlands. In 2004, John relocated to New York to lead the Interactive media practice for Mindshare and Ogilvy and was subsequently appointed as Global CEO of Mindshare Interaction in 2006 where he established the digital practice for Mindshare worldwide. In 2009, he took on the role of COO of GroupM Interaction for North America and in 2015 was appointed as the Chairman of GroupM Connect North America. John is seen as one of the digital innovators in the field and speaks regularly on issues such as Audience buying, Brand safety, Data Quality and Privacy. He has represented the advertising industry to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and the White House and is on the Internet Steering Committee for the WEF. John is also immediate past chairman of the 4A’s Media Leadership Council and leads The Privacy Task group for 4A’s. In addition, John is co-chairman of the TAG anti-piracy initiative. In 2013, John was nominated by Adweek as one of the 12 smartest people in media and won a Media All-Star Award from Media Post and was most recently acknowledged amongst the 100 people who make advertising great by the 4A's in the US.

Deputy Editor, El Tiempo, Colombia

Jineth is a journalist and international speaker on armed conflict, drug trafficking, and gender violence. She is currently Deputy Editor of the newspaper EL TIEMPO.

She has published nine books on the armed conflict in Colombia and organised crime investigations. Her work has made her won several international awards such as the World Courage Award for Journalism (2001), the International Women of Courage Award (2012), the IAPA Press Freedom Award (2019), and the last one, UNESCO's World Press Freedom Award in 2020.

In 2009, when she made her case public, after 9 years of being kidnapped, tortured, and sexually assaulted, she created the campaign "No Es Hora De Callar" campaign (Now is not the time to remain silent), that managed to raise awareness on gender violence among victims like her.

Since 2008 she has been training journalists from Colombia and other countries in Latin America on how to correctly address gender-based violence in the media.

In 2013, she ranked among the top 100 most influential journalists covering wars and violence.

In 2014, the Colombian government, by presidential decree, declared the date May the 25th (day of her kidnapping) as the National Day to Dignify the Victims of Sexual Violence.
She was part of the group of victims that participated in the peace negotiation between the government of Colombia and the FARC guerrillas in Havana, Cuba. Her involvement and work in these negotiations made it possible for sexual violence to be incorporated into the agreements as a penalty crime, not subject to pardon.

In 2016 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for the rights of women and victims of sexual violence.

She is currently leading the regional initiative #MyVoiceAccount to decry the commercial sexual exploitation of children and teenagers.

CEO and Executive Editor, Rappler, Philippines

A journalist in Asia for nearly 35 years, Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler's executive editor and CEO, Maria has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail eight times to stay free. Rappler's battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts. 

For her courage and work on disinformation and 'fake news,' Maria was named Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time's Most Influential Women of the Century. She was also part of BBC's 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019 and Prospect magazine's world's top 50 thinkers. Among many awards, she received the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Knight International Journalism Award from the International Center for Journalists, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford University, the Columbia Journalism Award, the Free Media Pioneer Award from the International Press Institute, and the Sergei Magnitsky Award for Investigative Journalism. 

Before founding Rappler, Maria focused on investigating terrorism in Southeast Asia. She opened and ran CNN's Manila Bureau for nearly a decade before opening the network's Jakarta Bureau, which she ran from 1995 to 2005. She wrote Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism.

Safety Advisor, World Editors Forum, Mexico

Javier Garza is a journalist based in Torreón, Mexico. As editorial director of El Siglo de Torreón he developed safety protocols for covering a wave of violence unleashed by organized crime groups in the city, which included armed attacks and kidnappings against the newspaper. He is recipient of the Dart Ochberg fellowship (2013). In 2014-15 he was a Knight Fellow at the International Center for Journalists focused on digital security and documenting attacks against the press in Mexico. Garza has a bachelor's degree in communications from the Universidad Iberoamericana and a master's in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. He has lectured on violence against the media at universities and press organizations in Mexico, the United States, Europe and South America and serves as an adviser on Newsroom Safety for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

Golden Pen of Freedom Virtual Award Ceremony and ‘Where to Now for Press Freedom?’ Online Panel Discussion