Belarus's Pioneering Editor and Ugandan Human Rights Reporter Named 2008 Knight International Journalism Award Winners They will be honored with John F. Burns of The New York Times at the

International Center for Journalists Awards Dinner on Nov. 12 in

Washington, DC



    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,
 visit http://www.knight.icfj.org.
 
     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

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