Pinay wins RSF award for in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ism

The Philippine Star - - NEWS OPINION - – AFP

LON­DON – Vet­eran Filip­ina jour­nal­ist In­day EspinaVarona was hon­ored by in­ter­na­tional me­dia watch­dog Re­porters With­out Borders (Re­porters Sans Fron­tieres) for re­sist­ing pres­sure in car­ry­ing out her work.

Varona won the Prize for In­de­pen­dence at the 2018 Press Free­dom Awards held in Lon­don.

The award is given to jour- nal­ists who re­sist fi­nan­cial, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic or re­li­gious pres­sure, RSF said.

“A vet­eran jour­nal­ist, In­day Espina-Varona has done a lot of re­port­ing on is­sues that are sen­si­tive in the Philip­pines such as child pros­ti­tu­tion, vi­o­lence against women, LGBT is­sues and the Moro Is­lamic Lib­er­a­tion Front in the is­land of Min­danao,” the in­ter­na­tional me­dia watch­dog wrote on Twit­ter.

Varona, a so­cial me­dia cam­paigner, founded the #BabaeAko move­ment in re­sponse to Pres­i­dent Duterte’s state­ments on women.

“Af­ter a par­tic­u­larly hard­hit­ting col­umn, I find 50 to 80 pri­vate mes­sages call­ing me a liar, an ugly woman and mostly th­ese are sex­ist at­tacks,” she told Agence France-Presse.

She added: “The slurs don’t re­ally bother me but the threats that say ‘we know where you live, we’ll see if you are brave as you think’ –that both­ers me be­cause it also hap­pens to other jour­nal­ists.”

Varona stressed that in­de­pen­dence is im­por­tant for ci­ti­zen jour­nal­ism. “I teach young peo­ple to be crit­i­cal minded and I hope this award will in­spire them.”

Aside from Varona, In­dian free­lance re­porter Swati Chaturvedi won the Prize for Courage, which is given to jour­nal­ists in a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment.

Mal­tese jour­nal­ist Caru­ana Gal­izia was awarded the Prize for Im­pact for his work that has led to an in­crease in aware­ness of jour­nal­is­tic free­dom.


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