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Novaya Gazeta, October 13, 2003

Against All Odds - 2003 (Vopreki - 2003)
Courageous Pen

Transcript by Nadezhda Prusenkova

The Fourth Contest of Regional Journalists "Against All Odds" is being held for the sixth time. Its founders are Novaya Gazeta, the YABLOKO faction and the Glasnost Protection Fund. The Head of the Organisational Committee of the Contest Sophia Dubinskaya tells us about the sixth contest.

Journalists from Moscow work in different conditions compared to their colleagues in the regions. The protection of the latter is much weaker. "Against All Odds" concerns the lives of journalists who are really concerned about the fate of the country. This is overwhelming. The more principles a person has in life, the more obstacles and problems there are in his life and the more strength he needs not to break down.

"Against All Odds" is a self-nomination contest. It is up to the individual to decide whether to participate or not. And finally, "Against All Odds" differs above all from other contests in that it considers articles that were not published by the papers for different reasons: censorship, the weakness of the Editor-in-Chief or pressure from the local authorities.

Each year "Against All Odds" gathers more and more participants. Journalists not only from Russia, but also from the CIS countries have been participating in the contest for the second year already. This year a contest received about a thousand works.

On Wednesday, October 15, 2003, on the anniversary of Larissa Yudina, the jury will draw the results of the contest. She was a participant in the first contest "Against All Odds". But three weeks before the release of the results of the contest Larissa, Editor-in Chief of the "Soveitskaya Kalmykiya" newspaper was brutally murdered in Elista. On the day of the official results of the contest the YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky proposed holding annually a contest "Against All Odds" and calling it after Larissa Yudina.

The main criterion of the contest is naturally professionalism. We don't have any nominations, we assess the deepness of the theme and narration. It is not easy even for the most talented and principled journalists to fight corruption, bureaucrats and almighty local chiefs. Consequently the deeds of every individual who has courage to openly say the truth are even more significant.


See also:

The Murder of Larissa Yudina

Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

Novaya Gazeta, October 13, 2003

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