Friday, August 24, 2007

ICFJ Names International Journalism Award Winners

Friday, August 24, 2007

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) named its 2007 Knight International Journalism Award winners today. This year’s winners are Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger, and investigative reporter May Thingyan Hein of Burma.

Abbas’ win marks the first time a blogger has received the award. His blog, Misr Digital, has covered stories such as police brutality and corruption—topics that many mainstream media normally don’t—and has attracted so much attention that it’s encouraged the media to begin reporting these subjects. Despite beatings and arrests, Abbas says that bloggers are “the last independent voice,” and are “necessary” for protests to be heard in Egypt.

May Thingyan Hein, who is a freelance journalist, also tackles controversial topics in her investigative reporting. In Burma, stories must be submitted to officials before being released and her coverage of the spread of bird flu into the country was instrumental in forcing the government to take action against the epidemic.

ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan says that Abbas and Hein are “blazing the path in their countries with extremely bold coverage” and that others should follow their example.

The Knight International Journalism Awards are given by the Knight International Journalism Fellows, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Fellows strive to lead the news media into making societies more accountable to citizens.

For more information, visit ICFJ online, or visit The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation online.

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