Press Freedom Awards ceremony stands up for journalists in ‘increasingly repressive world’

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In the phrases of Committee to Protect Journalists government director Joel Simon, “To practice journalism in the face of grave danger requires a profound sense of optimism and a sincere faith in humanity.”

Those qualities had been on show Thursday night time on the group’s International Press Freedom Awards ceremony in New York. Journalists from Guatemala, Mozambique, Myanmar, and different nations had been acknowledged for their brave work. The honorees didn’t journey to the US, owing to Covid-era issues and uncertainty, however the fund-raising gala was again in-person, supplemented by an internet streaming choice.
You ought to learn all concerning the CPJ honorees right here. The quote that caught with me most was from Matías Guente, government editor of Canal de Moçambique and CanalMoz. His newsroom was gutted by an arson assault in August 2020. He was additionally pursued by native officers, harassed, and intimidated in current years. “They can burn the newsrooms down,” he stated, “but they can’t burn thoughts down. The threat of fire only increases what these arsonists fear most, the critical spirit.”
From my perspective, this annual occasion at all times reinforces the privileges of working in a flawed however ferociously free information surroundings just like the US — a stark distinction to many different elements of the globe. Simon, who’s stepping down from CPJ at yr’s finish after an amazing 15-year run, stated Thursday night time, “I have always believed, and continue to believe, that a free society and a free people require a free press. People everywhere in the world deserve this. And we must continue the fight on their behalf.”

Spotlight on Jimmy Lai’s case

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Via ABC’s recap of the occasion: “CPJ also presented media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai with its Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award — an award reserved for an individual who has shown extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom.” Lai, the Apple Daily newspaper proprietor and pro-democracy media mogul, has been behind bars for almost a yr. CPJ reiterated on Thursday that Lai needs to be launched instantly and that each one the fees towards him needs to be dropped…

An “increasingly repressive world”

The night’s host, ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, opened by making this level: “On the face of it, the job of a journalist is simple: to gather and then report the news. But for many reporters in today’s increasingly repressive world, the very act of asking questions can be a crime. During the Covid pandemic, reporters have been jailed and intimidated just for collecting data on the numbers of infections and hospitalizations. Many governments have not been truthful about their failure to tackle the disease. Some have used the cover of Covid to stifle political dissent. Journalists looking to cut through that propaganda and misinformation of course pose a threat to those who are trying to control the message. And those journalists are at constant risk of being silenced.”

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