1997 Press Freedom Awards

International Press Freedom Awards


The 1997 International Press Freedom Awards

The International Press Freedom Awards are given annually by CPJ to journalists around the world who have courageously provided independent news coverage and viewpoints under difficult and often dangerous conditions. To defend press freedom, award winners have risked arrest, imprisonment, violence against themselves and their families, and even death.
The following six journalists received awards on October 23, 1997, in New York City at the Seventh Annual International Press Freedom Awards ceremony:
The following are the 1997 International Press Freedom Award winners.
Click on a name for a biography and case history.
Christine Anyanwu, imprisoned editor in chief of the independent Nigerian news weekly The Sunday Magazine, who is serving a brutal, 15-year jail sentence for exposing a government ploy to round up political opponents.
Ying Chan, U.S. correspondent and contributing editor of the Hong Kong magazine Yazhou Zhoukan, an international Chinese-language newsweekly, and Shieh Chung-liang, its Taiwan bureau chief, who are battling a criminal libel suit by a high-ranking Taiwanese ruling party official over their reporting of an alleged offer of an illegal contribution to the Clinton re-election campaign.
Viktor Ivancic, editor in chief of Feral Tribune, a weekly newspaper in Croatia, who has continued his pointed and irreverent coverage of Croatian politics and hard-hitting reporting of atrocities while fighting a seditious libel conviction and death threats.
Yelena Masyuk, special correspondent of NTV, independent television of Russia, whose incisive and balanced reporting on the war in Chechnya under treacherous conditions, harassment by Russian officials, and great personal risk culminated in her kidnapping by Chechen rebels who held her and her two-man crew in harsh conditions for 100 days.
Freedom Neruda, managing/senior editor of La Voie, the leading independent daily newspaper in the Ivory Coast, who has been arrested, physically assaulted, and prosecuted for criminal libel for criticizing the government’s policies and conduct.
Burton Benjamin Memorial Award
Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor of ABC’s “Nightline,” received CPJ’s Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his contributions to the cause of press freedom from CPJ board member Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor of “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.”Ted Koppel’s Acceptance Speech
Fred Friendly Honored
Fred W. Friendly, legendary broadcast news producer, was the subject of a special tribute from CBS’s Andy Rooney. Friendly’s wife, Ruth, responded on behalf of the famed advocate of press freedom whose health did not permit him to attend the ceremony. “Fred would exhort you to protect that precious press freedom that we enjoy, not to abuse it, but to use it responsibly” she said.
Other speakers at the 1997 awards dinner were Michael D. Eisner, chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, the dinner chairman; Kati Marton, former CPJ chairman who just returned from Bosnia on a mission on behalf of press freedom; master of ceremonies Tom Brokaw of NBC, Peter Jennings of ABC, Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Bill Keller of The New York Times, Ed Bradley of CBS, Roger Rosenblatt, writer and essayist, Raghida Dergham, Al-Hayat correspondent and president of the United Nations Correspondents Association, Terry Anderson, and William A. Orme, Jr., CPJ’s executive director.


IPFA Winners
1991 through 1997
Burton Benjamin Award Winners
1991 through 1997


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