Zhanna Litvina

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Zhanna Litvina, Belarus

"A pioneering radio journalist, Ms. Litvina is President of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). She became head of the youth program of Belarusian State Radio in 1994 and turned the program into an independent voice, which eventually led to its shutdown in 1995. That same year, Ms. Litvina founded the only independent radio station on the Belarusian FM dial, 101.2, which was shut down a year later. The station then moved to Poland, where it broadcast to Belarus on medium and short waves. In 1995, Ms. Litvina and 38 others founded the Belarusian Association of Journalists, which provides legal support for journalists, conducts training programs, monitors violations in the media field, and publishes an independent journal. The BAJ received a Golden Pen Award from the World Association of Newspapers in 2003 for "courageous resistance to the repression of the media by President Aleksander Lukashenka." The European Parliament awarded the BAJ the 2004 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for acting "as a champion of the independent media."" [1]

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  1. Background on Participants "champions of Freedom", White House, accessed August 24, 2007.