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Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / PR / Use of Micro-Talent & Influencers / 2021

Award: Graphite Pencil

Graphite Pencil / Digital / Use of Technology

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / Digital / Use of AI

Investigating corruption and the drug trade in Mexico has cost over 120 journalists their lives since 2007. Javier Valdez, killed in 2017, was among the most iconic ones. Three years later, artificial intelligence brings Javier back - live on national TV - to directly address the Mexican president, demanding justice for himself and his colleagues, and demanding free speech for everyone. This campaign is a part of the #StillSpeakingUp platform created to use the identities of murdered journalists to protect the safety of the ones at risk today.

What did the judges have to say?

"There are several reasons why this piece of work really stood out. In the last few months, I have seen a few projects employing deepfake technology, but this one is one step above. Not only was it the first to come out (I remember seeing it many months ago now and being blown away), but its craft is just amazing, so realistic it's almost frightening. The idea to use a dead journalist to fight censorship and corruption in such a hard context like Mexico is really a bold one, and the fact that now Javier Valdez is unstoppable and his Twitter is alive and still speaking the truth, is just amazing. You can't kill somebody who's already dead, you can't kill the truth anymore" - that really nailed it for me.""

Jorg Riommi, CCO Central and Eastern Europe & Romania, Publicis Romania

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