2003 “Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Award for Better Understanding in South East Europe” awarded to Kemal Kurspahic, former editor-in-chief of Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and its international jury have chosen Kemal Kurspahic, the former editor-in-chief of Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje, as the recipient of the 2003 “Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Award for Better Understanding in South East Europe”, in recognition of his outstanding efforts in journalism, which have contributed toward a better understanding in South Eastern Europe.
Born on 1 December 1946, Kemal Kurspahic was editor-in-chief of Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje from December 1988 until March 1994. In the first year of his editorship Oslobodjenje was named “The Paper of the Year in former Yugoslavia in 1989” and given “The Paper of the Year in the World” award in 1992.
Kurspahic made journalistic history by publishing Oslobodjenje every day in the ruins of the paper’s offices during the siege of Sarajevo and the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina (from April 1992). He has already received numerous awards including, The Courage in Journalism Award 1992, the World Press Review’s International Editor of the Year in 1993, the Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights in 1993 and the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero in 2000.
A noted writer, Kurspahic is the author of four books: As Long as Sarajevo Exists, Letters from the War, The White House and Prime Time Crime (this book was also published by SEEMO and the Media Center Sarajevo in the Bosnian language under the title: Zlocin u 19:30). He is currently a spokesperson for the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna.