President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic awarded his nation’s premier honor, the National Award of Recognition, to the Voice of America.
“With great pleasure, I am awarding this National Award to the Voice of America, one of the most respected global multimedia [brands]... for its professional and constructive reporting in our language during the past 75 years,” Vujanovic said at the ceremony in Podgorica on Monday, September 25.
“VOA has been a source of inspiration and support to anti-fascist forces in Europe in its early days, and a credible source of information during the Cold War,” said Vujanovic. Today “VOA is a globally significant media outlet providing us with local and international news, as well as stories about the U.S., its culture and values of democracy,” the president concluded.
Vujanovic said he was particularly honored that the VOA Director, Amanda Bennett, personally received the award. He introduced Bennett as one of the most respected investigative journalists and promoters of the values of professional journalism. Amanda Bennett thanked the president and the people of Montenegro on this recognition commemorating 75 years of VOA programming to the country.
"A free and independent press is essential to all democratic societies," Bennett said. "VOA is proud of our 75 years of uninterrupted partnership with the people of Montenegro."
During her visit, the first by a VOA Director to the Balkans, Amanda Bennett also met with leaders and journalists from Serbia and Bosnia. She is currently in Albania and wraps up her Balkan trip later this week with a visit to Kosovo.
The Voice of America has a weekly audience of 12% of the population in Serbia, 13.4% in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 26.5% in Montenegro, 60.5% in Albania and 64% in Kosovo.