Pakistani, Russian reporters win journalism award

Washington, June 11 (IANS) A seasoned Pakistani journalist known for courageous muckraking reports and a reporter investigating corruption in Russia have won a prestigious journalism award.

The 2013 Knight International Journalism Award recognises excellent reporting that makes a difference in the lives of people around the world, the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) announced here.

Umar Cheema, an investigative reporter for Pakistan’s largest English-language daily, The News, has set a new standard for courage and quality journalism in a country where reporters are routinely attacked and murdered, the centre said.

Cheema has been a resolute force in investigative journalism, it said. In 2010, he was kidnapped and brutally tortured for writing critical stories about the government. Since then, he has churned out a steady stream of hard-hitting reports.

Roman Anin, a reporter for Russia’s daily Novaya Gazeta, has demonstrated how Russian companies and officials have created a culture of corruption that reaches far beyond the country’s borders.

“These top-notch investigative journalists define bravery,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. “Their pursuit of the truth, despite serious threats, is inspiring. They fearlessly expose abuses and ultimately change policies.”

Anin and Cheema will be honoured at ICFJ’s awards dinner here Nov 7.

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