VRT conflict correspondent warns against the dangers of populism

Veteran VRT war correspondent, journalist Rudi Vranckx, has accepted the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize during a ceremony at the Peace Palace in The Hague (The Netherlands).  In an emotional acceptance speech Rudi Vranckx warned against the dangers of populism.

Rudi Vranckx follows in the footsteps of UNICEF, the former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and the controversial founder of the scouting movement, Lord Baden Powell.  The organisation praises the journalist's exceptional courage and dedication in his reporting from conflict zones as well as his commitment.  It made specific reference to his "Imagine Mosul" project that allowed him to collect 120 musical instruments from the Flemish public at large and take them to the Mosul music school in person.

In his acceptance speech Rudi stressed he was accepting the prize in the name of his fellow journalists: "During the past 25 years some 2,000 journalists have been killed.  This happened at the dizzying speed of two colleagues killed per week.  They were prepared to give their lives to bring a story."

Rudi Vranckx also called for greater nuance and humanity: "Some remind us of the Thirties, but history doesn’t repeat itself.  The mechanism of exclusion and human behaviour in times of fear does remain the same."