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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Journalists from Brazil and Nicaragua receive 2019 International Press Freedom Awards from CPJ



Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello and Nicaraguan journalists Lucía Pineda Ubau and Miguel Mora will receive the 2019 International Press Freedom Awards given by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) every year.

Patricia Campos-Mello speaks at the 20th ISOJ (Erika Rich/Knight Center)

"The winners of CPJ's 2019 International Press Freedom Awards represent the very best of journalism, people who have put their lives and liberty on the line to bring us the news. While we celebrate their courage, we lament that it is required," said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director, in a release announcing the awards on July 16. "The sad reality is that around the world independent journalism is threatened by populist authoritarians who disdain and disparage the work of the independent press. This is true in the countries represented by our honorees and many other

Campos Mello, journalist and columnist for newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, was targeted by attacks in the framework of presidential election campaigns in Brazil in 2018. The attacks began after she published a report on an alleged electoral fraud by business backers of then-candidate and current President Jair Bolsonaro.

As a result, she was the victim of attacks on social networks and her privacy was violated, CPJ reported.

"This is a very symbolic prize. They gave it to me, but in reality I am representing several women journalists from Brazil and around the world who have been victims of harassment online and also in real life in recent months. This has become very common in Brazil, these attacks on reputation, this online misogyny, these cell phone bullies. So I think it's a very important message that these things are not acceptable," Campos Mello told the Knight Center about the Twitter dedication of her award to other women. "It's an award for me and for Folha, and for other media that continue to maintain their independence and do critical journalism, not opposition journalism, but independent and critical journalism, despite the pressures. And pressures simply grow."

Miguel Mora (Twitter)

Both from television channel 100% Noticias, Pineda, news director, and Mora, founder and director, were imprisoned in December 2018 by the regime of Daniel Ortega who accused them of "fomenting and inciting hate and violence" and "provocation, proposition and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts."

The channel covered the political crisis that took over the country in April 2018 when protests began against the government.

During their detentions, they reported different violations of due process, such as the suspension of their hearings on at least five occasions. They were also held incommunicado and watched by the regime.

Both were released on June 11 as part of a controversial amnesty law.

It was recently announced that Pineda will also receive the 2019 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF).

Lucía Pineda Ubau (Twitter)

“Another award they announce for the Glory of God,” Pineda wrote on Twitter.

In addition to Campos Mello, Pineda and Mora, Neha Dixit from India and Maxence Melo Mubyazi from Tanzania will also be recognized, the CPJ reported. The director of the newspaper Dawn of Pakistan, Zaffar Abbas, will receive the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award that highlights an "extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom,” the organization wrote.

The official awards ceremony will take place on Nov. 21 in New York.



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