Janet Hinostroza

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On Tuesday night, CPJ honored four courageous journalists with the 2013 International Press Freedom Awards. The gala dinner, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, raised more than $1.65 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy.

The awardees--Janet Hinostroza (Teleamazonas, Ecuador), Bassem Youssef (Egypt), Nedim Şener (Posta, Turkey) and Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay, Vietnam)--face severe reprisals for their work, including legal harassment, physical threats, and imprisonment. CPJ also presented Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.

CPJ and attendees and followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.

Supporters of President Rafael Correa attend a political rally in Quito, Ecuador, on February 9. (Reuters/Guillermo Granja)

It's by far the dullest space in the newspaper: Every day in El Universo, Ecuador's leading daily, readers can find eight small photos and news blurbs summing up the activities of the eight presidential candidates. The articles are the same size and blocked together in a layout that resembles a tic-tac-toe game, minus the ninth square.

The government of Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has pre-empted more than eight days worth of air time with mandatory broadcasts. (Reuters/Guillermo Granja)

On September 11, 2012, the Ecuadoran government interrupted a morning newscast on the Teleamazonas TV station for an official bulletin. What could be so urgent? A coup d'etat? An earthquake? A cholera outbreak? 

It turned out the government sought to clarify what President Rafael Correa had for breakfast.

Critics say that Correa, seen here speaking during a campaign rally for the upcoming presidential election, has turned the Ecuadoran press into his whipping boy. (AFP/Rodrigo Buendia)

One result of President Rafael Correa's high-profile campaign to demonize the country's private media can be seen on the desk of José Velásquez, news manager at Teleamazonas, a private Quito television station often critical of the government. Among the documents piled high on his desk are lawsuits, which used to be a rare thing. Encouraged by Correa, who has personally sued newspapers and journalists, Velásquez says, the subjects of Teleamazonas news reports are now filing between two and five lawsuits per month against the station.

A screenshot of a YouTube video in which Janet Hinostroza describes a threatening phone call she received. (YouTube)

New York, September 20, 2012--Ecuadoran authorities must immediately investigate threats against Janet Hinostroza, a journalist with the private network Teleamazonas, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The threats have forced Hinostroza to take a temporary leave of absence.

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