GOTEBORG, Sweden, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - The International
Center for Journalists (ICFJ) announced that Belarus editor and free-press
champion Aliaksei Karol and Ugandan human rights reporter Frank Nyakairu
are the winners of the 2008 Knight International Journalism Award. They
will be honored along with Founders Award recipient John F. Burns of The
New York Times at the annual ICFJ Awards Dinner at the Ronald Reagan
Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, on November 12.
Karol, editor-in-chief of the weekly publication Novy Chas, is one of
the few remaining independent voices in Belarus. Over the past 15 years, he
has provided fellow citizens with independent news despite physical attacks
and intense government pressure. The country's Supreme Court shut down his
first newspaper, Zgoda, in 2006. Undeterred, in 2007 Karol began a new
weekly, Novy Chas, which has faced legal challenges.
Uganda's Nyakairu stands out for his in-depth coverage of human rights
abuses in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan. A
multimedia reporter for The Monitor, he has produced hard-hitting stories
on everything from abuses in Uganda's detention centers to war crimes by
rebel leaders in his country. Upset over a report in 2002, the government
raided and shut down The Monitor for several days. Nyakairu was detained
and charged with threatening national security. In 2004, the Supreme Court
ruled in his favor.
"Our winners this year represent the last hope for a free press in
Belarus -- and the best hope for tackling human rights abuses through
top-notch reporting in Uganda," said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan, who
announced the winners at the 61st World Newspaper Congress, 15th World
Editors Forum in Goteborg. "These journalists stand up and speak out,
despite the pressures, and set the finest standards for the profession."
Winners are nominated by Knight International Journalism Fellows, past
and present, and other seasoned international journalists. The jury
included two former Knight Fellows -- Doug Mitchell, NPR Project Manager,
Next Generation Radio, and Reuters Washington editor Alan Elsner. CBS
Washington correspondent Wyatt Andrews, New York Times Washington News
Editor Paula Dwyer, National Geographic Managing Editor Victoria Pope, New
Statesman U.S. Editor Andrew Stephen, and ICFJ President Barnathan also
served on the jury.
Karol and Nyakairu will receive their award at ICFJ's annual dinner,
which features CNN's Christiane Amanpour as the keynote speaker and ABC's
George Stephanopoulos as master of ceremonies. Some 500 top media leaders
attend the event.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Knight International
Journalism Awards, given by the Knight International Journalism Fellowships
program. The Fellowships are designed to create lasting, tangible
improvements in the way journalism is practiced around the world. The
program is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional
organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that
independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition.
The Knight International Journalism Fellowships is ICFJ's flagship program.
For more information on the Knight International Journalism Fellowships,
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism
excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities
where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has
granted nearly $400 million to advance journalism quality and the freedom
of expression. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create
transformational change. For more, visit http://www.knightfdn.org.
SOURCE International Center for Journalists