On the 18th of May, 1980 , despite South Korean military’s violent
suppression of the Gwangju Democratization Movement,
Jürgen Hinzpeter infiltrated the city and recorded scenes of a massacre.
His footage brought the attention of the world to the devastation in Gwangju and had a
lasting impact on the movement for democracy in South Korea.
There are now movements across the world to protect democracy and, like Hinzpeter,
many video journalists are trying to capture the truth.
The Hinzpeter Awards are jointly organized by the May 18 Memorial Foundation and
the Korea Video Journalist Association. The Awards have been established to discover, and bring attention to, video journalists like Hinzpeter who demonstrate extraordinary journalistic spirit in their coverage of democratic movements around the world.
The Hinzpeter Awards aspire to recognize and honor video journalists who seek the truth,
protect human rights and fight for justice as recorders of reality and chroniclers of history.
Greetings from the Co-Chairmen of
the Hinzpeter Awards Organizing Committee
- Dongnyun Jung
- Co-Chairman of the HAOC
(Chairperson of the May 18 Memorial Foundation)
Hello, I’m Dongnyun Jung, chairman of the May 18 Memorial Foundation. Since its
establishment in 1994, our foundation has tried to promote the spirit of May 18 to the
international community. I am delighted that the Hinzpeter Awards have been
established as one of its achievements.
I believe this award will serve as a stepping stone to promoting the spirit of May 18th to
Jürgen Hinzpeter was the first reporter to inform the world about the resistance of
Gwangju citizens, who were isolated from the outside world, by capturing them on
camera In May 1980.
Just as the “truth” captured in his film went beyond Germany to the world and back to
Korea and informed the world about May 18, we hope that his spirit will continue
through the Hinzpeter Awards in many parts of the world in desperate need of
democratization and protection of human rights.
The Hinzpeter Awards will be a representative award that will promote and honor
journalists all over the world risking their lives to report the truth at this very moment.
The May 18 Memorial Foundation promises to walk alongside journalists on the scene
who are capturing footages of people striving for democracy.
- Wonsang Han
- Co-Chairman of the HAOC
(25, 26th President ofthe Korea Video Journalist Association)
Hello, I’m Wonsang Han, president of the 25th and 26th Korea Video Journalist
Association. The Gwangju Democratization Movement on May 18, 1980 was a
movement that called for the realization of democracy.
The Gwangju Democratization movement is said to have greatly influenced the
democratic movement in June 1987, driving the democratization both at home and
abroad. As a result, Korea became the first country in Asia to achieve democratization
by fighting the military regime
The truth of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization movement could not be properly
reported due to the military regime’s censorship of the media. However, there was
Jürgen Hinzpeter, a video reporter for Germany’s first public broadcasting (ARD) on
site. Despite the fear of death, Hinzpeter informed Gwangju’s tragedy to the world by
recording the scene of the devastation. Therefore, the Korea Video Journalist
Association and the . Memorial Foundation established the ʻHinzpeter Awards’ to
honor the achievements and spirit of journalist Jürgen Hinzpeter.
Nowadays, there are a number of incidents around the world where large powers
trample on freedom, democracy, and human rights, and suppress the people who
resist them with violence. In response, we decided to award brave journalists who
inform the world about this reality and award the Hinzpeter Awards
Spirit of May 18 Gwangju and our experience of democratization are serving as a
mental support and a model of hope for citizens of a country in crisis. ʻHinzpeter
Awards’ will be an opportunity to share with the world the experience of
democratization and achievement of freedom of speech that began in “May of
Gwangju.” And it will serve as a milestone in supporting and encouraging citizens
around the world who strive for democratization.