Luz Mely Reyes, Venezuela

International Press Freedom Awards

CPJ is honored to present its 2018 International Press Freedom Award to Venezuelan journalist Luz Mely Reyes.

(Luz Mely Reyes)

Investigative reporter Luz Mely Reyes has covered politics in her native Venezuela for more than 25 years. Her first day as a reporter coincided with former President Hugo Chávez's first coup attempt in 1992.

Reyes began her journalism career at a local newspaper in the coastal city of Maracay. She then moved to Caracas, the capital, where she worked as a freelancer and covered politics for the daily newspaper El Nacional.

Samples of Luz Mely Reyes' work

In 2002, she became politics editor at Últimas Noticias, which at the time was the country's most popular daily newspaper. She led the outlet's investigative unit from 2005 until 2012, when she was named editor-in-chief of Diario 2001, becoming the first woman to hold this position at a national newspaper in Venezuela. The next year, the national attorney general's office launched an investigation into the paper, alleging it had published false information and demanding to see Reyes' sources. Reyes quit the paper in 2015 and co-founded the independent news website Efecto Cocuyo, along with fellow journalists Laura Weffer and Josefina Ruggiero, to work on "journalism we believed in."

The website, which grew from three reporters with an iPad to a team of nine contributors and 12 full-time employees with the help of a successful crowdfunding campaign and supportive donors, has become a champion of independent journalism.

Reyes and her team at Efecto Cocuyo host training workshops and panel discussions, and collaborate on investigative projects with international journalism organizations as well as news outlets from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia.

Press freedom has steadily deteriorated in Venezuela, where journalists reporting on the country's growing political, economic, and human rights crises are doing so under dangerous and repressive conditions. Scores of journalists, including those from Efecto Cocuyo, were attacked and threatened while covering violent protests that erupted against the government of President Nicolás Maduro in 2017.

The media environment has deteriorated in #Venezuela, but @LuzMelyReyes remains a champion of #pressfreedom #IPFA

Stay connected! Follow CPJ's South and Central America program on Twitter for updates on press freedom in Reyes' region. Click here to see CPJ's coverage of Venezuela.


CPJ's 2018 Awards

Amal Khalifa Idris Habbani, Venezuela
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Vietnam
Anastasiya Stanko, Ukraine
Maria Ressa, Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award

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2017

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2016

Mahmoud Abou Zeid, Shawkan (Egypt), Malini Subramaniam (India), Can Dündar (Turkey), Óscar Martínez (El Salvador)

2015

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2014

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2013

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2012

Mauri König (Brazil), Dhondup Wangchen (China), Azimjon Askarov (Kyrgyzstan), Mae Azango (Liberia)

2011

Mansoor al-Jamri (Bahrain), Natalya Radina (Belarus), Javier Valdez Cárdenas (Mexico), Umar Cheema (Pakistan)

2010

Mohammad Davari (Iran), Nadira Isayeva (Russia), Dawit Kebede (Ethiopia), Laureano Márquez (Venezuela)

2009

Mustafa Haji Abdinur (Somalia), Naziha Réjiba (Tunisia), Eynulla Fatullayev (Azerbijan), J.S. Tissainayagam (Sri Lanka)

2008

Bilal Hussein (Iraq), Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad (Afghanistan), Andrew Mwenda (Uganda), Hector Maseda Gutiérrez (Cuba)

2007

Dmitry Muratov (Russia), Mazhar Abbas (Pakistan), Adela Navarro Bello (Mexico), Gao Qinrong (China)

2006

Jesús Abad Colorado (Colombia), Jamal Amer (Yemen), Madi Ceesay (The Gambia), Atwar Bahjat (Iraq)

2005

Galima Bukharbaeva (Uzbekistan), Beatrice Mtetwa (Zimbabwe), Lúcio Flávio Pinto (Brazil), Shi Tao (China)

2004

Svetlana Kalinkina (Belarus), Aung Pwint and Thaung Tun (Burma), Alexis Sinduhije (Burundi), Paul Klebnikov (United States)

2003

Abdul Samay Hamed (Afghanistan), Aboubakr Jamai (Morocco), Musa Muradov (Russia), Manuel Vázquez Portal (Cuba)

2002

Ignacio Gómez (Colombia), Tipu Sultan (Bangladesh), Irina Petrushova (Kazakhstan), Fesshaye Yohannes (Eritrea)

2001

Jiang Weiping (China), Geoff Nyarota (Zimbabwe), Horacio Verbitsky (Argentina), Mazen Dana (West Bank)

2000

Zeljko Kopanja (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Modeste Mutinga (DRC), Steven Gan (Malaysia), Mashallah Shamsolvaezin (Iran)

1999

Jesús Joel Díaz Hernández (Cuba), Baton Haxhiu (Kosovo), Jugnu Mohsin and Najam Sethi (Pakistan), María Cristina Caballero (Colombia)

1998

Grémah Boucar (Niger), Gustavo Gorriti (Panama), Pavel Sheremet (Belarus), Ruth Simon (Eritrea)

1997

Viktor Ivancic (Croatia), Freedom Neruda (Ivory Coast), Christine Anyanwu (Nigeria). Ying Chan (United States) and Shieh Chung-Liang (Taiwan)

1996

Ocak Isik Yurtçu (Turkey), Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian Authority), J. Jesus Blancornelas (Mexico), Yusuf Jameel (India)

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