Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner will speak in Bratislava

Matt Apuzzo was awarded for his reporting on the surveillance of the Muslim community, Russia's impact on the US election and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matt ApuzzoMatt Apuzzo

Bratislava will host the three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Matt Apuzzo, at Comenius University next week.

The New York Times reporter will give a lecture on the political attacks against journalists and other dangers that free media face.

“Matt Apuzzo arrives in Slovakia at a time when many people gain information from unverified sources and politicians regularly attack journalists,” said Ján Pallo, chair of the council of the Petit Academy Foundation. “Through his personal experience, he points out that independent and credible news also faces threats in the United States. It helps us to understand that the weakening of the media is one of the basic elements in the struggle of those who want to gain unlimited power for themselves.”

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Authorities confiscated Apuzzo's phone recordings during the Obama and Trump administrations. Similar interventions in the work of journalists could jeopardise not only the freedom of the media but also the basis of the democratic system, Apuzzo said.

Apuzzo, who previously worked for the Associated Press agency, is an international correspondent for The New York Times and an investigative journalist in Brussels. His work focuses on law enforcement, national security and intelligence services. He studied journalism at Georgetown University and together with Adam Goldman, wrote a book, Enemies Within, about secret spying units within the Islamic terrorist network.

Pulitzer Prizes

He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for the first time for his report on the surveillance tactics of the New York Police Department against the Muslim community. In 2018, he received another Pulitzer for his stories on Russia's impact on Donald Trump's election campaign, and this year, he was on a team of authors awarded for their reports on the development and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic spread.

The American journalist's lecture is co-organised by the Tatra Banka Foundation, Petit Academy and Comenius University in Bratislava.

“We believe that only wise and educated people can cultivate our society. That’s why the Tatra Banka Foundation's main strategic fields include the arts, education and digital innovations,” said Michal Liday, chair of the board of directors of Tatra Banka Foundation.

He added that Apuzzo’s lecture Real News, Very Real Threats is a highly pertinent topic.

“The growing disrespect for scientific or factual information today demands quality and independent journalism,” said Marek Števček, rector of Comenius University. “I appreciate that at Comenius University we welcome Matt Apuzzo, who often faced danger but nevertheless did not give up, and his work is now proof that quality honest journalism can improve the world.”

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