Indian Journalist Neha Dixit gets CPJ’s Press Freedom Award

Neha Dixit, a freelance investigative journalist in India who covers human rights, was among four journalists selected by the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ), to honor them with the 2019 International Press Freedom Award.

Neha Dixit has faced legal and physical threats, as well as online harassment, after reporting on alleged wrongdoing by right-wing nationalist groups and police. She has covered politics, gender, and social justice in print, TV, and online media for more than a decade. She began her career at Tehelka magazine and then joined the special investigation team at India Today newsmagazine.

Other journalists are, Patricia Campos Mello, a reporter and columnist at Brazil’s daily Folha de S. Paulo. During the Brazilian presidential election campaign in 2018, Campos Mello was attacked online and doxxed in response to her coverage of supporters of then presidential-candidate Jair Bolsonaro allegedly sponsoring bulk messaging in WhatsApp.

Lucia Pineda Ubau, news director, and Miguel Mora, founder and editor, of Nicaraguan broadcaster 100% Noticias. The pair was imprisoned in December 2018 in relation to their coverage of political unrest. They were freed on June 11 after six months behind bars, under surveillance and in isolation most of the time.

Maxence Melo Mubyazi, champion of online freedom of expression in Tanzania, who co-founded and is the managing director of Jamii Forums, an online discussion site and source of breaking news. Melo has been charged under the country’s restrictive CyberCrimes Act and, in 2017, appeared in court 81 times.

“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

CPJ’s 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award recognizing extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom will be presented to Zaffar Abbas, editor of Pakistan’s daily newspaper Dawn.   All of the winners will be honored at CPJ’s annual awards and benefit dinner, at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City on November 21, 2019.

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