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Belize Prize for Investigative Journalism and University of Belize sign MoU on World Press Freedom Day

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2024. 3:47 PM CST.

By Zoila Palma González: Today, the University of Belize and the Belize Prize for Investigative Journalism (BPIJ) announced their new partnership on World Press Freedom Day 2024.

UB President Vincent Palacio and award founder Holly Edgell signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make Belize’s leading university the institutional host of the BPIJ, while Edgell retains operational and administrative management of the award.

“It is a fitting day to announce this partnership,” Edgell said.

“World Press Freedom Day is a reminder to the people of Belize to respect our collective commitment to press freedom. By entering into this agreement with the award, UB is demonstrating its own support and commitment to journalists and journalism as a profession,” Edgell added.

Dr. Palacio said presenting the award is a first step in exploring how UB could leverage academic and training resources for the journalism profession in the future.

“I view this partnership as fundamental to UB contributing not only to deepening investigative journalism in Belize, but also to strengthening the health of our democracy,” said Dr. Palacio.

World Press Freedom Day, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, serves as a reminder to governments to respect press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among journalists on issues such as press freedom and professional ethics.

The BPIJ, in its second year, will host its awards ceremony on Saturday, May 4, at the House of Culture in Belize City at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

The prize winner will receive BZ$10,000 and two finalists will each receive BZ$5,000.

BPIJ is also organizing an investigative journalism workshop on May 4.

One of the sessions will focus on opportunities and challenges in environmental journalism reporting, the theme of World Press Freedom Day 2024. The workshop was made possible with support from the US Embassy in Belize.

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