Back to all articles
Pirkanmaan rahasto
Tampere Freedom of Speech Event focuses on the importance of media freedom
Kesäinen iltarusko, kuvassa Tampereen Näsinneula ja Näsijärvi sekä kaupunkia.
A new event concentrating on freedom of speech and what it means has been founded in Tampere. The keynote speaker of the first event will be American Ukrainian journalist Myroslava Gongadze.

The topic of the first Tampere Freedom of Speech Event, to be organized in the end of September, is the importance of media freedom and a pluralistic press in the story of independent Ukraine.

The keynote speech will be delivered by journalist Myroslava Gongadze. Ms. Gongadze is a prominent American Ukrainian journalist and media leader, a force behind Ukraine´s best-known journalism prize and a mentor for young Ukrainian journalists. Gongadze is closely linked to the most fateful moments of Ukraine´s media freedom.

Myroslava Gongadze’s husband Georgiy Gongadze (1969–2000) founded one of the first independent Ukrainian news media, Ukrainska Pravda, and his brutal murder outside of Kyiv in 2000 raised an early wave of protests to protect both critical journalism and Ukraine’s young democracy. The murder was marked by a recording scandal which nearly toppled then-president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma.

Myroslava Gongadze now works as East Europe Chief of the Voice of America news service. She actively supports her country in the United States and works as a reporter on the field in Ukraine. In September 2023, Myroslava Gongadze will be awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize which ‘honors outstanding international leaders whose actions have greatly improved the condition of humankind’.

In Tampere, the Ukraine topic is covered at an invitees-only conference at the Old City Hall, and in a public discussion seminar in the premises of Tampere University journalist education. As a separate pre-event, a seminar will be held about the situation of repressed journalists and other people in the country of Belarus.

Why the theme of freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is a core value: it belongs to the core of every democratic society and it´s an important part of the daily life of any free human being. Freedom of speech belongs to everyone.

The Tampere Freedom of Speech Event is organized by the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Pirkanmaa Regional Fund, together with the City of Tampere and its Operation Pirkanmaa, the journalism foundation JOKES, Reporters Without Borders Finland and Lännen Media. The Tampere Freedom of Speech Event takes place in Tampere on September 26–28, 2023. The event is planned as biennial, with varying topics.

Tampere Freedom of Speech Event