Russian journalist wins Peter Mackler Award

22nd August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian journalist Ilya Barabanov, who has worked to expose official corruption, was awarded the Peter Mackler Award honoring courageous journalism Sunday, press freedom group Reporters Without Borders announced.

Barabanov is deputy editor of The New Times, an opposition news weekly in Russia which has been searched and sued by the Russian government after critical stories.

"Barabanov, a young journalist, has displayed enormous courage in standing up for journalistic independence and the Russian people's right to free and balanced news. These character traits are what the Peter Mackler Award seeks to encourage and reward," said project director, Camille Mackler.

Reporters Without Borders, which administers the prize, said Barabanov's nomination comes amid growing accusations of Internet censorship and media intimidation in Russia.

"We are delighted to know this award goes to Ilya Barabanov," Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders said. "Being a journalist in Russia is one of the toughest jobs around.

"Russian journalists need to be supported and recognized worldwide for the work they do. Ilya's talent, courage and persistence are essential to Russian journalism," he said.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was founded in June 2008 to honor the memory of Mackler, who died of a heart attack that month at the age of 58.

The award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either guaranteed or not recognized.

The first award was granted in 2009 to JS Tissainayagam, a Sri Lankan reporter, targeted for his coverage of Tamil rebels. He is scheduled to speak at the award ceremony in October.

© 2010 AFP

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