International Press Freedom Awards

1998 Press Freedom Awards - Announcement

The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists who have courageously provided independent news coverage and viewpoints in the face of arrest, imprisonment, violence against them and their families, and threats of death. The following five journalists will receive the 1998 CPJ International Press Freedom Awards from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in ceremonies in New York on November 24. CPJ will also honor Brian P. Lamb, C-SPAN's founder and chief executive, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for distinguished achievement in the cause of press freedom.

Grémah Boucar

Grémah Boucar of Niger's Anfani newspaper and magazine, and Radio Anfani, one of the country's only private radio stations, exemplifies the experiences of Africa's few truly independent radio broadcasters in his refusal to allow government intimidation and harassment to drive the station permanently off the air. In a region where radio is the most effective medium for reaching the majority of citizens, Boucar has refused to flee into exile and has withstood attacks, harassment, and arrest. He remains committed to providing Niger's citizens with critical coverage of the government and its policies.
Read Grémah Boucar's Acceptance Remarks



Gustavo Gorriti

Gustavo Gorriti of La Prensa, Panama, is Latin America's top investigative reporter. Gorriti is an uncompromising advocate for press freedom who has survived abduction by armed commandos in his native Peru and continual legal harassment in Panama, where he has lived since 1996. Gorriti's reporting on Colombian drug traffickers' close ties to the Panamanian government nearly resulted in his expulsion from Panama in 1997. The threat of international condemnation forced the Panamanian government to extend his work visa for a year, but it has not put an end to the legal harassment.
Read Gustavo Gorriti's Acceptance Remarks




Goenawan Mohamad

Goenawan Mohamad, founder and editor of Tempo news magazine in Indonesia, is a lifelong crusader for press freedom who has sought to hold government accountable to the public. A beacon of hope to Indonesian journalists, he has been unwavering in his determination to develop a genuinely independent press. Tempo, the independent weekly he founded in 1971, was the country's largest, most respected news magazine. It was silenced in 1994 at the beginning of Suharto's clampdown on Indonesian media. Now, with Suharto gone and a new government pledging a commitment to press freedom, Mohamad and a group of former staffers relaunched Tempo on October 6, with a dramatic lead article investigating the reported rapes of Chinese women during the rioting that preceded Suharto's resignation in May.

Read Goenowan Mohamad's Acceptance Statement




Pavel Sheremet

Pavel Sheremet of Belarus is Minsk bureau chief for ORT Russian television and editor in chief of the newspaper Belarusskaya Delovaya Gazeta. Sheremet has endured every conceivable type of official harassment for his coverage of Belarus' slide toward authoritarianism -- arrest, imprisonment, and denial of the right to report and travel freely -- and has become a symbol of courage for standing up to Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko's campaign to suppress independent and opposition media.

Read Pavel Sheremet's Acceptance Statement




Ruth Simon

Ruth Simon of Eritrea, a correspondent for Agence France-Press, has been under arrest and held in detention, without trial, since April 25, 1997, for doing her job as an independent journalist in reporting statements made by Eritrea's president that Eritrean troops were fighting alongside rebel forces in neighboring Sudan.


Brian P. Lamb

Brian P. Lamb, recipient of the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award, is chairman and chief executive officer of C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. His breakthrough achievement in conceiving, defining, and establishing a public affairs television network that would give voice to all the people added a new dimension to the nation's and world's understanding of press freedom. With the creation nearly 20 years ago of C-SPAN -- a nonprofit network subsidized by the cable industry -- the medium of television made a great leap toward more fully realizing its inherent potential to inform and illuminate. C-SPAN has demystified the workings of government for tens of millions of Americans through its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. Congress. Not only has it helped create a more informed electorate, it has become a vehicle for viewers to participate in the democratic process in new ways. It upholds the press freedom standard of the Committee to Protect Journalists: Democracy can flourish only when citizens have the right and the ability to freely express and have access to information, opinions, and views.

The Burton Benjamin Memorial Award honors the late CBS News senior producer and former CPJ chairman who died in 1988.



International Press Freedom Awards