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DW Freedom of Speech Award 2023 goes to Oscar Martinez

May 3, 2023

The journalist from El Salvador becomes the ninth DW Freedom of Speech Award laureate for his work promoting press freedom in Central America.

Oscar Martinez photographed, with a book case in the background
Oscar Martinez is the editor-in-chief of El FaroImage: Alba Amaya/DW

Freedom of Speech Award: DW honors El Salvador journalist

DW's Freedom of Speech Award 2023 will go to Oscar Martinez, one of Latin America's most renowned investigative journalists, Germany's international public broadcaster revealed on Wednesday. 

The 40-year-old El Salvador-born journalist is the editor-in-chief of the Salvadoran online magazine El Faro (The Lighthouse), which started in 1998 as a no-budget project and became one of the leading investigative media in Latin America.

The announcement of this year's Freedom of Speech Award recipient comes on May 3, the day of DW's 70th anniversary. 

The DW Freedom of Speech Award
Image: DW/P. Böll

Fighting for press freedom

"Oscar Martinez and the editorial staff of El Faro are courageously standing up to the enormous pressure that journalists in El Salvador, as well as in other Central American countries, face in their work," said DW Director General Peter Limbourg. "With our prize, we honor the courage and conviction of Oscar Martinez to provide independent information to his readers at great personal risk."

Constitutional rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly have been suspended in El Salvador since the government imposed a state of emergency in March of last year

"Journalism must continue to shine into the dark corners that the powerful would prefer to keep in the dark," Martinez said. I believe that journalism must continue to tell the stories that are kept quiet by the powerful." 

DW Director-General Limbourg praises FOSA winner Martinez

What is the DW Freedom of Speech Award? 

Since 2015, the DW Freedom of Speech Award (FoSA) has honored a media person or initiative that has shown outstanding promotion of freedom rights, especially freedom of expression and press freedom.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was the first recipient of the DW Freedom of Speech Award. Last year saw AP journalist and novelist Mstyslav Chernov and freelance photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka honored for their work covering Russia's war in Ukraine

Every year the Freedom of Speech Award ceremony is one of the highlights of DW's Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. 

"The Freedom of Speech Awards shows our recognition of all journalists who fearlessly stand up for independent journalism in the public's interest. They embody the professional values that DW has committed itself to," Limbourg said. 

fb/sms (DW)

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