Award of the 2008 RFI-Reporters Without Borders-OIF - Jean Hélène prizes for print media and radio at the Governor-General's residence in Quebec

                     Sunday, 19 October 2008 at 5:30 pm

                        during the Francophone Summit

    MONTREAL, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ -

                             In the presence of
    Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, CC, CMM, COM, CD,
                         Governor General of Canada,

     His Excellency Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the Francophonie,

                 Geneviève Goetzinger, RFI deputy director,
     Jean-François Julliard, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general,
                    and Hervé Bourges, honorary president
               of the International Union of Francophone Press,
                          and president of the jury

               Award of prizes to the two winning journalists:

                       - Cheick YVHANE (Côte d'Ivoire)
                         Jean Hélène prize for radio,

                          - Virgil HOUESSOU (Benin)
                      Jean Hélène prize for print media

    The press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders, France's
leading 24-hour international news radio station, RFI, and the Department for
Peace, Democracy and Human Rights of the International Organisation of the
Francophonie (OIF) have jointly created the RFI-Reporters Without Borders-OIF
Francophone Prize for Press Freedom.
    The aim of this prize is to discover and encourage talented journalists
in the OIF countries(*) and to promote them internationally. Also known as the
Jean-Hélène Prize, it awarded to the best news report on a human rights
subject in two categories: print media and radio. Aside from the public and
fraternal recognition that is essential in some countries and important
internationally, the winners each receive 5,000 euros in prize money, a
three-day invitation to Quebec, and international radio, TV and print media
    Headed by Hervé Bourges, honorary president of the International Union of
Francophone Press, the jury's members were

    - Geneviève Goetzinger, journalist and RFI deputy director
    - Hugo Sada, head of the Department for Peace, Democracy
      and Human Rights of the International Organisation of
      the Francophonie (OIF)
    - Jean-François Julliard, journalist, Reporters Without Borders
    - Julia Ficatier, journalist, La Croix
    - Sophie Larmoyer, journalist, Europe 1

    A few words about the winners:

    Cheick YVHANE (Côte d'Ivoire),
    Winner in the Jean Hélène radio category

    Born on 16 August 1980 in Adjamé (Côte d'Ivoire), he is a reporter with
Abidjan-based Radio Nostalgie.
    His report, "In the World of the MACA (Abidjan House of Arrest and
Correction)," was broadcast on March 2008 on Radio Nostalgie, where he has
worked since September 2003.
    He also presents a programme, Le journal des NTIC, on RTI's Channel 1 and
he writes for the fashion magazine Afrik fashion.

    Cheick Yvhane's report is online at,, and

    Virgil HOUESSOU (Benin),
    Winner in the press category

    Born on 27 May 1973 in Abomey (Benin), he has been a reporter for the
daily L'Evénement Précis since July 2006. He also works for Le Magazine de
l'Afrique, editing its pan-African economic monthly.
    His article, entitled "Prisoner Babies in Hospital," was published in
L'Evénement Précis on 19 October 2007.
    He was editor of the daily Le citoyen libéré after working for the
dailies La Nouvelle Tribune and L'Evénement du Jour. He has also been a
reporter and presenter on Radio Univers, the National University of Benin
radio station, and is a founder member of several journalistic organisations
in Benin.

    (*) The prize is open to 41 member countries of the International
        Organisation of the Francophonie (except European Union member
        states, Canada, Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra), namely: Albania,
        Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central
        African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo,
        Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon,
        Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia
        (FYROM), Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Moldova,
        Niger, Rwanda, St Lucia, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles,
        Togo, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

For further information:

For further information: RFI Contacts: Françoise Hollman, head of
communication,; Annick Beaumesnil, cultural
operations: 33 1 4430 8951,; Anthony Ravera, Press:
33 1 5640 2985; Andrée Navarro, 33 1 5640 4727,; Reporters Without Borders Contact: François Bugingo,
president, Reporters Without Borders Canada,; Catherine
Borlongan, director general, Reporters Without Borders Canada,; Quitterie de Livonnière, head of communication, Reporters
Without Borders France, 33 1 4483 8456,; International
Organisation of the Francophonie Contacts: Anissa Barrak, head of
communication, 33 1 4437 3393,; David Bongard,
head of projects, Department of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights, 33 1 4437

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