Monday, June 4, 2007

Please Don't Shoot the Messenger

Monday, June 04, 2007

Reading about journalists who go beyond the call of duty to carry out their work is a reminder that this is a job, yes, but also a calling that can inspire passion and demand exceptional courage. Take the case of Lydia Cacho, a Mexican journalist and human rights activist who reports for the CIMAC news agency and also writes features for "Dia Siete" magazine. Cacho has written extensively about prostitution rings in Cancun and wrote a book published last year, “Los Demonios del Eden” (“Demons of Eden”), about the Lebanese-born head of a local child pornography and prostitution ring. When she testified at his trial in May of this year, her car was sabotaged and she was threatened with violence. She now travels with bodyguards .

Lydia Cacho has just been named one of the 2007 Courage in Journalism Award Winners by the International Women’s Media Foundation. IWMF’s award, created in 1990, honors ‘women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances’ and includes high-profile events in Los Angeles and New York. Other 2007 winners are:
+ The Iraqi women reporters of McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau, who risk their lives to cover the war in Iraq;
+ Ethiopian publisher Serkalem Fasil, who gave birth to a son while confined to a vermin-infested jail cell for her work; and
+ Peta Thornycroft of Zimbabwe, who is being given a lifetime achievement award for her many years of independent reporting on human rights abuses, farm occupation and government repression.


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