Florica Ichim

Romania Libera, Romania.

As a result of her father’s political imprisonment, Florica Ichim was refused education and employment. But she overcame these obstacles and ultimately began her journalism career in the late 1960s. When Ichim refused to join the Communist Party in 1975, she was forced to leave Romania Libera, the paper where she worked for. Ironically, just two days after the December 1989 revolution, she was elected executive editor by the staff of the newspaper.

In the fragile peace that followed, old-style repression reappeared. For a time, her paper resisted pressures from the newly installed Romanian government. But an attack by miners – presumably acting for the government – damaged the printing press, injured reporters, and left the paper’s offices ransacked. Fearing for her own safety, Ichim went into hiding, but defiantly continued to publish so her readers could see “that there is still hope, that democracy and freedom still have a chance.”

Florica Ichim is the first Courage in Journalism Award winner from Romania.

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