Press

Zaina Erhaim receives the award from Camille Mackler.

Zaina Erhaim receives the award from Camille Mackler on October 22, 2015

2015 Award Winner’s Passport Held

Washington, DC, Oct. 1, 2016 – An official from the Peter Mackler Award Friday denounced the British government’s decision to confiscate the passport of Syrian journalism Zaina Erhaim, winner of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism (PMA).

UK officials took the action at the request of the Syrian government, which is in the midst of a brutal campaign against civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where Erhaim has reported on the Syrian civil war and trained citizen journalists to document conditions in the besieged city.

“Erhaim and her colleagues have borne witness to the many atrocities committed by the Syrian government in Aleppo. It is outrageous that the British government should be complicit in Syria’s attempt to silence her,” said Camille Mackler, project manager of the PMA, which is named after the late Peter Mackler, an American-born journalist for Agence France-Presse.

The award is given annually to an international journalist for their courage in doing objective reporting under conditions of violence or political repression.

Erhaim, Syria coordinator for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, until last year lived in Aleppo with her husband, covering the war and training other residents to report on the war and its consequences using cell-phone cameras and other low-tech methods. She was detained last week when she entered Britain to receive an Index of Censorship Freedom of Expression Award. Officials confiscated her Syrian passport because the Syrian government had reported it stolen. She was allowed to stay in Britain, but may not be able to leave.

“Britain is supposed to be a champion of democracy and freedom of expression, not a co-conspirator with dictators,” said Mackler. “Erhaim deserves to be praised for her work, not punished.”

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Burundi Reporter Wins Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

Eloge Kaneza on the ground with a recorder, June 10 2015, in Mugongomanga commune while covering protests.

Kaneza (center, with microphone) covers unrest in April 2015.

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2016 – Journalist Eloge Willy Kaneza of Burundi has been named the winner of the 2016 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The award is presented by the Global Media Forum in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Agence France-Presse (AFP). The award will be presented in a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington on October 13.

Kaneza, 34, is the public face of SOS Media Burundi, a collective of mostly anonymous journalists that emerged after the closure of radio stations during the May 2015 coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunzizi. Using smartphones and mobile applications, Kaneza and his colleagues work under difficult circumstances as the only source of news for their countrymen and those outside Burundi.

Here’s what other journalists are saying about Eloge Willy Kaneza:

  • “The authorities and uncontrolled armed groups have become the number one menace for journalists in the country. In such a context, continuing to do your work as a journalist with such integrity and courage is absolutely remarkable. Eloge deserves this award that is not only a testimony to his work, but a strong message of hope sent to the whole Burundian journalistic community.” – Clea Kahn-Scriber, RSF Africa Desk
  • “Not only is Eloge not afraid, but he is also an excellent reporter who strives to get both sides of the story; his survival in this very troubled country could be due to his fairness.” – Negussie Mengesa, Director, Africa Division, Voice of America

Since 2008, the Peter Mackler Award has recognized those journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where press freedom is challenged. It honors the memory of the veteran AFP journalist who was dedicated to mentoring young journalists.

The Award ceremony will take place on October 13, 2016 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. The ceremony will be followed by a panel discussion.

Register now and show your support for Eloge Kaneza and his colleagues.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Zaina Erhaim of Syria Named 2015 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

Zaina Erhaim in an undated image provided by her.WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2015 – The Peter Mackler Award, the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Agence France-Presse are pleased to announce that Syrian journalist Zaina Erhaim is the 2015 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the National Press Club on October 22, 2015.

Zaina Erhaim, 30, currently lives and works in Aleppo, Syria. Over the last two years, she has trained about 100 citizen reporters from inside Syria, approximately a third of them women, in print and TV journalism, and has helped establish many of the new emerging independent newspapers and magazines in the war torn country.

“Zaina Erhaim is a force multiplier of journalistic values in a country torn by violence and irrationality,” said Camille Mackler, the Peter Mackler Award’s project director. “We salute her courage, upholding professional ethics and bringing them to the service of those left to write history.”

Erhaim is also the Syria project coordinator for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an international organization that support journalists in countries undergoing conflict, crisis, or transition. Many of Ms. Erhaim’s students, from all walks of life, have been published in major international news outlets.

Syria is currently ranked 177th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

Upon learning that she had received the award, Ms. Erhaim said “when living in horror for all these years, it is normal to feel abandoned and forget that there is someone listening or reading to our stories and that she or he actually cares.   It is such initiatives that make me feel that I, with my Syrian colleagues, do matter, and that our hard work is appreciated and it gives power to go on in my daily surviving battle”

The Award ceremony will take place on October 22, 2015 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045.  The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour.

Register now.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Mashable’s Louise Roug Joins Peter Mackler Award Board

Louise Roug, Global News Editor at Mashable.

Louise Roug, Global News Editor at Mashable.

Washington, DC, July 6, 2015 – Louise Roug, a distinguished foreign correspondent and now the Global News Editor for Mashable, has joined the advisory board of the Peter Mackler Award, PMA project director Camille Mackler announced today.

“As a reporter, Louise Roug has navigated many dangerous assignments,” Mackler said. “As a news executive, she is at the forefront of change in the moving media landscape of today. We are grateful for her contribution and look forward to her insights.”

Since May 2014, Roug has led the U.S. and world coverage at Mashable, a global media company founded in 2005 with 43 million visitors per month and 23 million social followers worldwide.

Before joining Mashable, she was the Foreign Editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast from 2010 to 2013. Earlier, Roug was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times for almost a decade, covering the Middle East and the 2008 presidential election, among other assignments.

During the war in Iraq, she lived in Baghdad from late 2004 to early 2007.

Roug was the recipient of the 2007 Hal Boyle Award from the Overseas Press Club and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for her work from Baghdad.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism honors reporters and editors who have demonstrated a commitment to fairness, accuracy and speaking truth to power, and a matching commitment to asserting the right to publish or air that story in countries where independent media is under threat.

The award was founded in 2008 by the Mackler family in partnership with Reporters without Borders to honor the late Peter Mackler, a long-time correspondent and editor for Agence France-Presse. AFP became a co-sponsor of the award in 2014.

Roug joins a 12-member advisory board that provides guidance for the selection of the yearly award recipient. Earlier this year, Mr. Jørgen Ejbøl, Chairman of the Danish Jyllands-Posten Foundation, also joined the advisory board.

The name of the 2015 winner will be announced on August 22 and an award ceremony will be held at the National Press Club in Washington DC on October 22nd, 2015.

Remember them on this holiday season

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 18, 2014 – It’s been another great year for the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.

Thanks to your continued support, on October 23, 2014, we were able to honor Asma Shirazi’s undaunted courage for reporting the truth and challenging leaders in a country fraught with perils for independent journalists, Pakistan.

We have been joined by new friends: Agence France-Presse, which now sits on our board of advisors, and DoubleRProductions and Turner4D, who both offered their services pro bono during the award ceremony because they believe in our work.

And we’ve redesigned our website at PMaward.org.

More than ever, it is enormously important to lend a hand to reporters who put their lives on the line every time they go out to report on the news we consume, in the comfort of our own, free societies.

By making a donation to the Peter Mackler Award, you send a global signal that persecuting reporters is not OK.

By making a donation to the Peter Mackler Award, you might make the difference between prison and freedom for someone who is somewhere no one else is paying attention to.

By making a donation to the Peter Mackler Award, you do your small part to push back against a terrifying trend: in 2014, 66 journalists were killed while doing their job and 178 were jailed.

Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, the very first recipient, received notification of the award on September 1, 2010, the first day of a 20-year sentence to jail and hard labor. “It helped me survive in prison,” he recollected a few weeks ago in a video message.

“When the State wants to punish you, it wants to show that your work was in vain,” he said.

Please, make sure that another journalist’s work was not in vain by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.

Asma Shirazi of Pakistan Named 2014 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2014 – Global Media Forum, the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Agence France-Presse are pleased to announce that Asma Shirazi is the 2014 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 23rd.

Asma Shirazi, 38, is Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and has reported on several recent conflicts including the Israel-Lebanon War in 2006, Taliban violence on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2009, and General Pervez Musharraf’s 2007 state of emergency in Pakistan.

Ms. Shirazi hosted two popular television talk shows, including one on Parliamentary affairs entitled “Parliament Cafeteria” which allowed her to become Pakistan’s first female Parliamentary correspondent. The show was banned by General Musharraf as he sought to exert more control over coverage of the country’s political processes.

Undeterred by death threats and personal risk, Ms. Shirazi has demonstrated courage, professionalism and dedication in the search for truth in a country where talk shows are as risky as war reporting.

“We are thrilled to recognize the courage and dedication to journalistic ethics that Ms. Shirazi has displayed every day of her career,” said Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award. “At great personal risk, Ms. Shirazi has continued to ensure that unbiased, free information is available throughout Pakistan. She not only epitomizes the values our award seeks to recognize, she continues to be a role model to young women in Pakistan and in all other parts of the world.”

“By awarding Asma Shirazi, we pay tribute to the courage of those who fight for freedom of information in Pakistan, where seven journalists were murdered in connection with their work in 2013. Facing harsh oppression, Shirazi demonstrates every day outstanding journalistic skills,” said Delphine Halgand, US Director, Reporters Without Borders.

“AFP is happy to be associated with this recognition of Asma Shirazi’s great courage and perseverance in reporting on conflict and politics in Pakistan despite the personal dangers she faced,” said David Millikin, AFP’s director for North America.

Pakistan is currently ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. Ms. Shirazi is the second woman to win the Peter Mackler Award.

The Award ceremony will take place on October 23, 2014 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour. The ceremony is open to the public. Register now.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Agence France-Presse joins Peter Mackler Award Board

Washington, DC February 10, 2014 –The international news agency Agence France-Presse has joined the advisory board of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, the Mackler family announced today.

“AFP is very happy to provide support for the award issued in memory of Peter, who played such a vital role over nearly three decades in building the agency’s international activities and reputation,” said David Millikin, AFP’s director for North America who will represent AFP on the advisory board.

A project established in memory of long-time AFP correspondent Peter Mackler, the award annually honors an international journalist who has achieved success under repressive conditions.

“AFP brings precious international help and support to our project,“ said Camille Mackler, one of Peter’s daughters and the project director. “Five years on, we all have witnessed the positive impact of the award. AFP’s contribution will strengthen our capacity to support independent journalism around the world, and more specifically in countries that impede free speech.”

The project was established in 2008 in collaboration with the international NGO Reporters without Borders, a key partner.

The late Peter Mackler spent 30 years of his journalism career at AFP in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States as a correspondent, war reporter, editor and bureau chief, among other capacities. He mentored young AFP correspondents and established an independent journalism training program for students and foreign journalists.

The award has honored J.S.Tissainayagam from Sri Lanka, Ilya Barabanov from Russia, Karla Rivas from Honduras, Lukpan Akhmedyarov from Khazakstan and Faisal Mohamed Faisal from Sudan.

“The Mackler family has created something of great importance, not only for the award’s recipients but for the nations where courageous reporters know their work is being followed and recognized abroad,“ said Marcus Brauchli former executive editor of the Washington Post and former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. The honorees are selected by daughters Camille and Lauren Mackler, and Catherine Antoine, Peter’s wife.

“The award is a great source of inspiration when individual journalists, often working alone, confront powerful governments and organized criminal gangs,” said J.S. Tissainayagam who received the award while jailed in 2009.

Recipients are flown to the US in October for an award ceremony at the National Press Club. In New York, they address students and faculty of the Columbia University School of Journalism, and in Washington, D.C., they meet with policy makers in think tanks and government agencies.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism is a project of the Global Media Forum, a U.S. non-profit company.

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Faisal Salih is a reporter, editor, columnist and journalism teacher in Khartoum, Sudan.

Washington DC, Dec. 23, 2013 – Faisal Mohamed Salih, the 2013 Peter Mackler Award recipient, was acquitted in Khartoum, Sudan on Sunday of publishing lies.

“We are relieved to learn that Faisal Salih was cleared of wrong doing while exercising his profession and we hope the Sudanese courts will also clear the other journalist accused in a similar fashion,” said Catherine Antoine, co-founder of the Peter Mackler Award.

“I’m happy. It’s a very important precedent,” Salih told Agence France Presse after Judge Esmat Suliman threw out the charge.

A member of Sudan’s security bureau filed a criminal code complaint against Salih, alleging he had lied and insulted the state in a 2011 column about an activist’s allegation of rape in custody.

Salih could have been jailed for up to six months if convicted. The journalist “did not publish lies and did not insult the state”, Suliman ruled. “A lot of media published about this case.”

In his article, Salih had called for a “serious investigation” into the activist’s allegation that she was raped in detention.

Salih said the verdict should support the “watchdog” role of reporters in Sudan. “It’s very positive for the freedom of the press and the role of the press in society,” he said, noting that the judge described his article as “very objective”.

Other journalists were previously jailed and fined for writing about the activist’s case, and one more reporter is still before the courts, Salih said.

“An allegation of rape in custody is a grave matter and we are encouraged by the decision of the Sudanese court,” said Antoine.

Remember to make an end of year, tax deductible donation to the PMA

Make a donation.

Happy holiday season! As 2013 comes to a close, two words come to mind: Thank You. Together, for the fifth year in a row, we celebrated one man’s courage in the face of intimidation, and his steadfast belief in journalistic values.

At the National Press Club, Columbia University Journalism School and the many entities he visited during his stay in Washington DC, Faisal Mohamed Salih, our 2013 award recipient, spoke eloquently of the many challenges he and his colleagues face to continue exercising their profession in Sudan.

One thing was clear: his determination to continue speaking truth to power.

Like Peter, Faisal believes good journalism can bring about social change for the better.

Like Tissa, Ilya, Karla, and Lukpan before him, Faisal thanked us for our support, for YOUR support

We couldn’t have done it without you.

We know that our small award goes a long way in bringing light to the remotest parts of the world where free speech and independent reporting are considered with contempt.

Your donation, combined with donations from many others, will help journalists in difficulty get the strength and nerve to continue this uniquely challenging profession.

As the year draws to a close, remember to make a tax-deductible contribution to the PMA so we can help another courageous journalist next year.

We are inspired by the number of people who believe in and cherish the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. We cannot thank you enough for the trust you place in us, and our partnership with Reporters without Borders, and your will to continue honoring Peter Mackler’s legacy.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope we can expect your continued generosity and support.

With deepest appreciation,

Camille, Lauren and Catherine

Make a donation.

 

Fifth anniversary address given by Catherine Antoine, co-founder of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, at the French Embassy.

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Catherine Antoine addresses the French Embassy, Oct. 2, 2013

Washington DC, Oct. 2, 2013 – Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Monsieur l’ambassadeur, merci pour votre hospitalité dans cette belle maison.

I have to start with something sad, but bear with me because it gets better.

Five years ago, on a beautiful Friday afternoon in June, my husband passed away suddenly.

It was the beginning of a personal tragedy for my daughters and me, but something else happened.

We received hundreds of messages, emails, letters, phone calls from people around the world who wanted to share what Peter had meant during their career.

Journalists in Bagdad, in Islamabad, in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong ; in Bosnia, Kosovo, India told us how much Peter had been and continued to be an inspiration.

My husband was a consummate reporter. For him, journalism was not only a profession, it was a way to be in life. He was immensely generous with his time, his experience, his knowledge, mentoring young reporters and discussing journalistic ethics – issues close to his heart – as well as safety in situation of conflict.

When he passed away, as is the custom in this country, people asked where they could make a donation.

One of my daughter said « We must continue Papa’s work » and the other said « Let’s create an award in his name. »

So we did – in collaboration with Reporters without Borders, an organization my husband and I have always admired.

Year after year, we have been able to help and recognize a reporter who operates in difficult and dangerous circumstances.

In 2009, JS Tissainayagam was in jail, accused of terrorism for his reporting on the civil conflict in Sri Lanka.

Today, Tissa is right here with us. He actually runs a very interesting blog – PM Media Freedom – that I recommend. You can find a link on the Peter Mackler Award website.

The following year, we recognized Ilya Barabanov, a young man from Russia whose reporting on corruption in the secret police prompted raids on the publication he still works for.

In 2011, we honored the courage of a woman, Karla Rivas, editor of a community radio in Honduras. Karla staunchly refused to be intimidated by the military. She started her acceptance speech by reading the name of 16 Honduran reporters who had been gunned down in 28 months.

Last year, Lukpan Akhmedyarov from Kazakhstan received the award. We were lucky to have him among us because thugs had left him for dead six months earlier. He had been literally beaten to a pulp, after he reported on corruption in local politics. He was an inspiring speaker at the award and at Columbia University where our winners traditionally address the students and faculty as well.

And this year, you must know that we are honoring Sudan’s Faisal Mohamed Salih at the National Press Club in three weeks. Faisal is a remarkable man and if you want to know more, you need to join us on the 24th. Ambassador Lyman who is right here with us is the keynote speaker. Please, come and show your support .

Now, you might wonder « Why should we care ? Why should we be concerned about the fate of reporters in Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Sudan ? We live here, in this beautiful city of Washington DC – designed as you know by a French man, le major L’Enfant. »

You should care deeply, for many reasons. The one I’ll mention tonight is the fact that our own press is battered, and foreign correspondents are so few now. Our own professional media are undergoing drastic budget cuts at a time when reporting from overseas has never been so costly, and so dangerous.

Sure, activists, even ordinary people send tweets and posts video on YouTube. But who’s there to bring perspective, to double check the facts and tell us in the end « what does it all mean ? »

Most often, only the local press is left to take the risks to report the truth; and they do it with little or no protection. They most often are subjected to threats to their lives, threats of torture, threats to their family.

Many are forced to give up or give in to self-censorship. Others courageously push forward, motivated by respect for the truth and dedication to journalistic ethics.

We can’t really blame those who choose to avoid danger. But, in turn, we must recognize those who choose to take personal risk on the values we hold dear.

I could go on, but let me stop here for now.

Five years after my husband passed, our goal is to make the award permanent.

To do so, we need your support. Tissa, Karla, Faisal deserve your support.

Please, come to the award ceremony at the National Press Club on October 24th, buy a ticket – it only costs 25 dollars – or better, make a donation so we can continue this work.

Thank you.

 

Ambassador Princeton Lyman to be keynote speaker at 2013 PM Award ceremony

Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman

Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman

Washington DC, Sept. 30 – Longtime Sudan and Africa expert, Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman will give the keynote address at 2013 Peter Mackler Award ceremony.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism this year honors Sudanese Faisal Mohamed Salih, columnist and editor at Al Khartoum Daily.

The award ceremony will take place Thursday October 24, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

“We are honored that Ambassador Lyman accepted our invitation to address the 2013 Peter Mackler Award. His extensive experience and breadth of knowledge about Sudan promise to bring an exciting dimension to the October 24th ceremony,” said Camille Mackler, project director of the PMA.

Ambassador Lyman is Senior Advisor to the President at the United States Institute of Peace.

Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman was United States special envoy for Sudan in 2011-2013. He also served as U.S. senior advisor on North-South negotiations, where he led the U.S. team focused on supporting negotiations between the parties to Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Ambassador Lyman also served at the Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University and the Aspen Institute.

Ambassador Lyman’s previous career in government included assignments as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (1981-1986), U.S. ambassador to Nigeria (1986-1989), director of refugee programs (1989-1992), U.S. ambassador to South Africa (1992-1995), and assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs (1996-1998).

He is the author of “Partner to History: The U.S. Role in South Africa’s Transition to Democracy.” He was co-director of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report, “More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa”, issued in 2006, and co-editor of “Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why It Matters” published in 2007.

The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is not tolerated.

The award is a project of Global Media Forum in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders. The Award ceremony will take place on Thursday October 24, 2011 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
www.pmaward.org

Tel: +1-202-247 5186
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Faisal Mohammed Salih Named 2013 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

Faisal Salih is a reporter, editor, columnist and journalism teacher in Khartoum, Sudan.

Faisal Salih is a reporter, editor, columnist and journalism teacher in Khartoum, Sudan.

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2013 – Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are pleased to announce that Faisal Salih is the 2013 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The Peter Mackler Award celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

Faisal Salih, 53, is an experienced journalist and columnist for various Sudanese publications.He is also director of programs at Teeba Press, a non-governmental organization that trains journalists in Sudan. He was formerly the editor in chief of Al-Adwaa Daily and a columnist for several other publications.

He will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 24, 2013. Salih, is well known for his criticism of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his regime’s human rights abuses. He was imprisoned for several days in 2012 after an Al Jazeera interview where he was critical of the current regime. In 2011 he was one of several journalists investigated after speaking out against the alleged rape of youth activist Safia Ishag.

“As we get ready to celebrate our fifth anniversary, we could not be prouder to recognize such a journalist as Mr. Faisal Salih,” said Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award. “Our goal for the last five years, as we have built this award program, has always been to shine a light on the courage and commitment to human rights and dignity that Mr. Salih exhibits every day through his work. When a young woman was raped by Government forces, he could have simply chosen to look the other way and not risk his own life. Instead, he reported about it until the same forces tried to silence him as well. This courage and attachment to journalistic ethics is what the Peter Mackler Award seeks to encourage and reward every year.”

Sudan is currently ranked 170th out of 179 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. The African nation is known for its widespread use of intimidation and violence to censor journalists. The result is a media landscape crippled by state censorship, and self-censorship is practiced by many of the country’s professional journalists.

“By awarding Faisal Mohammed Salih, we pay tribute to the courage of those in Sudan who refuse to be silenced. In the face of harsh oppression, Salih remains a steadfast figure of freedom of information”, said Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders Director.

Open letter to the friends and supporters of the Peter Mackler Award

Washington, DC, Dec. 12, 2012 – Many thanks to those who were able to join us for the fourth annual Peter Mackler Award Ceremony on October 12th at the National Press Club. It was our most successful event so far and a heartwarming and inspiring evening.

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Lukpan Akhmedyarov speaks about hope and freedom in Kazakhstan.

Our recipient, Lukpan Akhmedyarov, spoke of the many difficulties faced in Kazakhstan by those seeking to maintain free and independent media. “The press is on a leash, it is only a question of the length of the leash,” he said, referring to “constant pressure” from the government.

In Lukpan’s case that pressure included a severe beating at the hands of two thugs after he had published an investigative report on local corruption. He suffered a crushed skull as well as punctured lungs, liver and kidneys.

“After the April 2012 attack, a lot of people wrote and asked if I was going to stop investigative journalism. I realized so many people relied on me for information, there is no way I can stop,” Lukpan said. He added, “For me and my colleagues the PMA is a great honor. Until now we thought our work had gone unnoticed outside Kazakhstan.”

As many of you know, the Peter Mackler Award for Ethical and Courageous Journalism is named for our husband and father the late Peter Mackler, a long time reporter and editor for Agence France-Presse who had a passion to support independent journalism in repressive countries. After he died in 2008, his friends and family were moved to create the PMA to honor his efforts and continue his work.

Sri Lankan prison officials escort Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam (center) to a prison bus in Colombo on August 31, 2009. Photo: AFP/Ishara S.Kodikara

Sri Lankan prison officials escort Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam (center) to a prison bus in Colombo on August 31, 2009. Photo: AFP/Ishara S.Kodikara

It has become more than just an award – recipients are adopted into the PMA family. We bring the winner to the United Sates, where he or she gives a talk and meets with students and faculty at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. In Washington DC, they meet with State Department officials, think tanks and non- governmental organizations in addition to the annual ceremony at the Press Club.

Besides the $1,000 award, we try to help them when we can. The PMA worked – along with many others – to gain the release from prison of our first recipient, J.S. Tissainayagam. Tissa has since been granted asylum in the United States and is now living in Washington.

“The Peter Mackler Award is not just another media honor. While the PMA recognizes that fighting for media freedom requires courage to speak the truth, it also brings families together. Where reporting the truth is dangerous, awardees can rest assured that their families have someone to turn to in times of desperation – the Peter Mackler family that is always willing to give much more than handing out the accolade,” he told us recently.

Camille J. Mackler, PMA Project Director.

Camille J. Mackler, PMA Project Director.

After Tissa, who had been unjustly imprisoned on trumped-up terrorism charges in Sri Lanka, we gave awards to Russia’s Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of Novoye Vremya (New Times,) targeted by his government for exposing official corruption, and Carla Rivas of Radio Progreso in Honduras, who continues to cover the news in the face of military intimidation and censorship.  The disturbing stories of their battles to report the truth are a reminder that freedom isn’t free, and are an important motivation for us to keep supporting the cause that Peter so deeply believed in.

As we enter our fifth year we wanted to share some of the latest news about the PMA. We are expending our board of advisors which currently includes the Washington Post Company Vice President Marcus Brauchli, NewsCore CEO John Moody, U.S. Senate Staffer Jay Branegan and others.

We are currently developing plans for a special event next year to mark the fifth anniversary of the award.

All this would not be possible without the support of people like you who believe in the crucial role a free press plays in developing societies. “I never had the privilege of knowing Peter Mackler, but I admire the spirit of this award in his name,” remarked Robert O. Blake, Jr. Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, at the 2012 ceremony.

None of us involved with the PMA take any pay for our work and we keep costs to a minimum. All the money raised through the ticket sales and donations goes to expenses for the award itself, transportation, accommodation, venue, etc.

With the year-end giving season upon us, we ask you to consider making a tax deductible donation to the PMA so we can continue honoring the courageous work of brave journalists around the world. Our family is dedicated to this cause, and we hope to be able to count on your support.

To donate online, please, go to www.pmaward.org/ and choose on “Make a donation
or by mailing a check to:

Peter Mackler Award
11 Broadway – Suite 615
New York, NY 10004

Catherine Antoine
Camille Mackler
Lauren Mackler

Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake Key Note Speaker for 2012 Award Ceremony

NEW YORK, September 14, 2012 – The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism announced today that Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake will be the key note speaker at this year’s ceremony honoring Lukpan Akhmedyarov of Uralskaya Nedelya (Kazakhstan).  The ceremony will take place October 12, 2012 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Mr. Blake is a career Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador Blake entered the Foreign Service in 1985. He has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington, including senior desk officer for Turkey, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ambassador Blake served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi, India from 2003 – 2006, as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009, and as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs from May 2009 to the present.
Mr. Blake earned a B.A. from Harvard College in 1980 and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1984.

The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized.  The Award is administered jointly by Global Media Forum and Reporters Without Borders.  The Award ceremony will take place on October 12, 2012 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045.  The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Global Media Forum
Tel: +1-212-422-7446
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

 Lukpan Akhmedyarov Named 2012 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 – Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are pleased to announce that Lukpan Akhmedyarov is the 2012 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.

Akhmedyarov is a reporter for the weekly Uralskaya Nedelya in Kazakhstan. He will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 12, 2012.

Lukpan Akhmedyarov, 36, is well known for his investigative coverage of corruption and human rights abuses as well as his criticism of the current regime. He has been the target of threats and harassment by the police.

On April 19, 2012, Akhmedyarov was the victim of a murder attempt outside his apartment building in the city of Uralsk.  Two masked individuals attacked him, hitting him on the back of the head, stabbing him multiple times and shooting him with an air-pistol.  As a result, Akhmedyarov was hospitalized for a month and treated for a head injury, eight stab wounds to the lung, kidneys, and stomach, and gun pellet injuries.

Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award, said that “Mr. Akhmedyarov has shown enormous courage in reporting on corruption in an authoritarian regime. That he continues to do so, after almost paying with his life for his commitment to journalistic integrity, makes us proud to name him this year’s winner of the Peter Mackler Award.”

“Through Lukpan Akhmedyarov, we pay homage to the courage of all who continue to work independently to cover the news in Kazakhstan.  Working as an independent news source in this country has never been easy. Over the past twelve month, it has become more dangerous than ever.  Lukpan’s courage and dedication command respect” said Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders Director.

RSF ranked Kazakhstan 154th out of 178 countries in their 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

Fund Raising Event at the Pew Foundation

Washington DC, June 21, 2012 – Please join us on Thursday, June 21st for The Future of Information, an afternoon of insightful conversation as two of the nation’s leading media experts analyze the latest trends in information consumption and consider the impact they have on internet media of every kind.

A benefit for the Peter Mackler Award for Ethical and Courageous Journalism, this very special event will feature Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, and Lee Rainie, Founding Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Together they’ll discuss the latest findings on how Americans are using and accessing information and what these discoveries mean for the future of the web and its content managers.

click here to view the event summary.
Maximum Seating – 70

NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2011 – Global Media Forum and the US branch of Reporters Without Borders are pleased to announce that Honduran radio journalist Karla Rivas, news editor for Radio Progreso, has been selected as the 2011 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Rivas will be awarded the prize at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 20, 2011. Rivas is the first woman to receive the Award.

Karla Rivas, 33, works for Radio Progreso, a Jesuit-run radio station covering current events, sports, and arts news. Despite being one of the first victims of raids by the military after the 2009 coup, Radio Progreso continues to challenge censorship and to promote dialogue within Honduran society. It’s leader, Father Ismael Moreno, was one of approximately ten journalists the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights instructed the new Honduran government to protect, an injunction the regime continues to ignore. Karla Rivas became a vocal opponent of the military tactics and continues to defend Radio Progreso’s right to broadcast uncensored information. Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award, said that “Ms. Rivas has shown enormous courage and integrity by asserting the right of the People of Honduras to receive fair, accurate news. She has done so regardless of the danger she placed herself in. This selflessness and strong ethics are what the Peter Mackler Award rewards by naming Ms. Rivas this year’s winner.”

Jean-François Julliard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders stated that Ms. Rivas’ recognition “constitutes both a symbol of the fight for the right to information, and a reminder to the international community of the tragedy Honduras has suffered since the coup on June 28th, 2009. Radio Progreso’s efforts to inform the public about the state of human rights since that day is rewarded today. The driving force for dialogue within an extremely polarized society, Radio Progreso continues to take on with courage its journalistic and educational role, despite threats and persecution. If the station is over a half-century old, its young journalists and announcers embody both the future of a profession and the hope of a country.” Reporters Without Borders ranked Honduras 143rd out of 175 countries in their 2010 Press Freedom Index, down from 128th the previous year.

The Award ceremony will take place on October 20, 2011 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour. There will be a silent auction.

Contact:
Camille J. Mackler
Project Director, Peter Mackler Award
Global Media Forum
Tel: +1-917-655-3548
Email: cmackler@pmaward.org

2010

Peter Mackler Award To Hold Ceremony Recognizing Ilya Barabanov October 22nd, 2010

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism will hold its annual award ceremony on October 22, 2010 at 6:00PM at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC.  The ceremony is open to the public and will be followed by a networking hour.  Tickets are $25 ($10 with student ID) and can be purchased at the door or online at www.pmaward.org.  There will be a silent auction.

This year’s winner is Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of Russian opposition magazine The New Times.  Barabanov has worked on several investigative reports exposing corruption and other issues within the Russian government.  As a result, he has been the target of extortion attempts and other threats, and has defended his organization against a lawsuit filed by the Interior Ministry and OMON security forces.

The guest speaker will be J.S. Tissainayagam, 2009 winner of the Peter Mackler Award and current Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.  Mr. Tissainyagam, a respected Tamil journalist and editor, was recently pardoned by the Sri Lankan government, less than a year after his conviction to 20 years hard labor on terrorism charges.

The Key Note Speaker will be David E. Hoffman, contributing editor at the Washington Post and Foreign Policy Magazine.  Mr. Hoffman is also the author of The Dead Hand, the Pulitzer Prize winning analysis of the Cold War arms race.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS NOW AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A DINNER FOR TWO
Each ticket purchased will be automatically entered into a raffle for dinner for two at the National Press Club