For Immediate Release
International Press Freedom Awards: Honoring Courage and Perseverance
NEW YORK - Four journalists from Burma, Iran, Russia, and South Africa will be honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2014 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting. These journalists have faced imprisonment, violence, and censorship.
The 2014 awardees are Burmese journalist Aung Zaw, founder and editor-in-chief of The Irrawaddy, which was branded an “enemy of the state” by the former military regime and still comes under pressure from the current Burmese government; Siamak Ghaderi, Iranian freelance journalist and former editor and reporter for the Islamic Republic's official news agency IRNA, who was released in July after spending four years in prison; Mikhail Zygar, editor-in-chief for the Russian independent TV channel Dozhd, which provides a rare alternative to Kremlin-controlled federal stations; and Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press in South Africa, who has faced fierce criticism and threats of violence against herself and her staff for critical stories published under her leadership.
“We are confronting record levels of violence and repression against journalists and, recently, vivid displays of brutality perpetrated against reporters covering the Syrian conflict,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “The journalists that CPJ will honor with the International Press Freedom Award are undeterred and unbowed. They have risked all to bring us the news.”
CPJ will present Jorge Ramos, co-anchor on Univision News since 1986, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom. He also hosts “Al Punto” (To the Point), the Univision Network’s Sunday public affairs program. He recently started hosting a program in English on the TV network Fusion.
“Popular newscaster Jorge Ramos immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico so he could report without government interference, which he has done bravely throughout his career,” said Sandra Mims Rowe, chairman of CPJ’s board. “He consistently champions the rights of journalists in Latin America who often work under dangerous conditions and uses his considerable platform to highlight their struggles.”
All of the winners will be honored at CPJ's annual award and benefit dinner in New York City on November 25, 2014. Christiane Amanpour, anchor and chief international correspondent for CNN and a CPJ board member, will host the event. Alberto Ibarguen, president of the Knight Foundation, is the dinner chairman.
Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.