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Associated Press

'Alternative Nobels' Go To Journalist, Activists


Amy Goodman of the U.S. is pictured in a handout photo issued October 1, 2008. The Right Livelihood Award, or 'Alternative Nobel' named on Wednesday four laureates for their work to promote peace, social justice and independent reporting. Goodman is awarded for her independent political journalism. (REUTERS /Right Livelihood Foundation/Handout - Sweden)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A US journalist, a Swiss-born doctor and activists from India and Somalia were named on Wednesday as this year's winners of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "alternative Nobel."

The recipients will share a 2 million kronor (US$290,000) cash award to be split in four parts. Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull founded the awards in 1980 to recognize work he felt was being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

American reporter Amy Goodman, founder and host of the syndicated radio and television program "Democracy Now!", was honored for "truly independent political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by mainstream media," the organizers said.

The program works to provide listeners with independent reports from around the world to portray the effects of U.S. foreign policy, featuring accounts from artists, activists, academics and analysts.

Goodman, born in 1957, was also one of about 800 demonstrators and journalists arrested during protests at a Republican National Convention in the U.S. in mid-September.

The jury also honored the founder of medica mondiale, gynecologist Monika Hauser, for her work to help sexually abused women in world crisis zones.

Swiss-born Hauser holds an Italian passport and lives and works in Germany, they said.

Somali lawmaker Asha Hagi was honored for her efforts to promote peace in her homeland by "continuing to lead at great personal risk the female participation in the peace and reconciliation process," the organizers said.

Hagi is also chairwoman of Save Somali Women and Children, which helps women get involved in politics.

The last part of the prize was shared by Indian couple Krishnammal and Sankaralingam Jagannathan for their efforts to promote social justice through their nonprofit organization Land for the Tillers' Freedom.

The group works to raise the social status of India's Dalit caste, also known as the "untouchables," and by helping redistribute land to poor, landless families.

The awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Swedish Parliament on Dec. 8, two days before the Nobel Prizes are handed out.

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