Ethiopian Journalists honored for courageous reporting – CPJ

New York, November 25, 2015–Journalists from Ethiopia, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Syria were honored Tuesday night at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 25th annual International Press Freedom Awards for courageous work amid risks such as physical attack, imprisonment, exile, and murder.

“These awardees go forward with their work in the face of threats from repressive governments, drug cartels, Islamic State, and other terrorists and thugs determined to stifle the truth,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “In recognizing these fearless journalists, we send a message of support to journalists everywhere–and a message to authoritarian actors that we are watching.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group of Syrian citizen journalists that has seen two members murdered by Islamic State, received its award from the editor of The New Yorker and CPJ board member David Remnick. Creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doonesbury comic strip Garry Trudeau presented Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque (“Zunar”) of Malaysia with his award, the first time CPJ has honored a full-time cartoonist. Suroosh Alvi, co-founder of VICE Media, presented an award to the Zone 9 bloggers, a group of journalists from Ethiopia, of which six were charged with terrorism and imprisoned for more than a year in retaliation for critical reporting. Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, a Paraguayan journalist who has lived under 24-hour police protection for two decades because of his reporting on organized crime, received his award from CPJ board member Isaac Lee, president of news and digital for Univision Communications, Inc. and CEO of Fusion.

Kathy Gannon, special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan at The Associated Press, received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom from Christiane Amanpour, the chief international correspondent for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly program “Amanpour.” Gannon has covered the region since 1998. In 2014, she was seriously wounded when an Afghan police officer opened fire on the car she was sharing with AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed.

The awards dinner was chaired by Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. The dinner raised a record $2.04 million for CPJ’s worldwide advocacy–including a special appeal during the evening that was matched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“We are most grateful to Steve’s leadership in making this evening such a success,” said Kathleen Carroll, CPJ’s vice chair and the executive editor of The Associated Press.

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Posted by on November 29, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Ethiopian Journalists honored for courageous reporting – CPJ

  1. sam

    November 29, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    CPJ should be applauded for standing for press freedom everywhere. Some dictatorial regimes could not care what CPJ stands for. They believe not to make a dent on their grip of dictatorial power. They might be true to some degree. Some dictatorial regimes care what CPJ is saying about the press freedom under their governance. They label however the organization as ill-informed, surrogate to the opposition parties “propaganda,” and much more. That is to say the impact CPJ might exert on dictatorial regimes is not as significant as we wish it to be. The importance of CPJ only manifests the lonely voice in the wilderness– journalists under dictatorship really are– to have a deserved recognition. Look at the issue from different angle. Had not been CPJ active in defending press freedom, even having a few courageous journalists working where dictatorships rule would have become almost impossible. Thanks for the courageous job.