Photo credit, Barbara Nitke (CPJ)
at CPJ's annual award ceremony
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was
among four journalists who received CPJ's 2013 International
Press Freedom Award on November 26. Youssef has used humor to report on and
criticize government failures to improve the economy and public services, and
its efforts to suppress opinion. In November, Youssef's show was suspended.
"Freedom of expression is not a privilege; it is a universal
right," Youssef told the crowd gathered at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
"Now, you don't have to be a journalist or a reporter. You can just be an
ordinary citizen with a camera and a YouTube channel. This is how we started. I
don't know how this will end. ... But at least this is how we started."
CPJ also awarded Janet Hinostroza,
a leading TV reporter in Ecuador, who has continued to work despite threats to
her and her family; Nedim
Şener, who faces up to 15 years in jail on terrorism charges because of his
reporting; and Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai,
who was not present at the ceremony because he is serving a 12-year prison
sentence for "conducting propaganda" against the state.
Thanks to Dan Doctoroff,
chief executive officer and president of Bloomberg,
who chaired the ceremony, the dinner raised a record $1.65 million for CPJ's
worldwide press freedom advocacy. Many of the distinguished guests at the event
also pledged support during a special appeal at the end of the night. Those
funds were matched by the John S.
and James L. Knight Foundation, contributing another $200,000.
Pearlstine, executive vice president and chief content officer of Time
Inc., presented Paul
Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica
and former managing editor of The Wall
Street Journal, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his lifetime
commitment to press freedom.