International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders has announced the nominees of its Press Freedom Awards 2019 ahead of the ceremony in Berlin on September 12.
The founder and editor of The Shift, Caroline Muscat, has been shortlisted for her work against corruption with The Shift News “despite massive pressure”.
Each year, the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Awards honour journalists considered courageous, independent, and whose work has had a great impact. The nominees include journalists and news outlets from 12 countries shortlisted for three international awards for ‘Independence’, ‘Impact’, and ‘Courage’.
Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders commended the nominees who face constant threats due to their work yet refuse to be silenced, instead continuing to “raise their voices against the abuse of power, corruption, and other crimes.”
“Rather than dishearten us, the difficult situations these journalists face inspire us with the will to achieve change. Courage in the pursuit of journalistic ideals is a formidable motivating force for all those who want to address humankind’s most important challenges,” he added.
Reporters Without Borders said the winners will be chosen by a jury that includes the international Emeritus Board and the presidents of all sections of Reporters Without Borders.
Other nominees in the ‘Independence’ category include Pakistan’s oldest daily newspaper, ‘Dawn’ that was the only one to withstand military rule and a ban on its distribution in 2018, Cameroon media freedom journalist Amadou Vamoulké, and Nicaragua-based investigative portal ‘Confidencial’.
Italian investigative journalist Paolo Borrometi and Lola Aronovich from Brazil are shortlisted for the prize for ‘Courage’, together with Igor Rudnikov from Russia who founded the newspaper Kolesa. He has been attacked and even jailed a number of times due to his work on corruption. Saudi blogger Eman Al-Nafjan has also been nominated for her campaign for women’s right to drive, among other issues.
In the ‘Impact’ category, nominees include journalist and LGBT activist Pham Doan Trang from Vietnam who has been beaten and arbitrarily imprisoned for her work. The Sudanese Journalists Network is shortlisted for its reporting on violations of media freedom and imprisoned journalists, as is Lu Guang from China, a photojournalist who publishes images of social and environmental issues in the country – he was arrested when visiting China last year and he has not been seen since.
Previous winners of the Reporters WIthout Borders international press awards include the late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet and Matthew Caruana Galizia who won the Prize for Impact.
Prize for Courage
Igor Rudnikov (Russia)
Eman Al-Nafjan (Saudi Arabia)
Paolo Borrometi (Italy)
Lola Aronovich (Brazil)
Prize for Independence
Caroline Muscat (Malta)
Amadou Vamoulké (Cameroon)
Prize for Impact
Pham Doan Trang (Vietnam)
Sudanese Journalists Network (Sudan)
Lu Guang (China)