U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power recently congratulated this year’s winners of the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism. The Awards honor brave and often unrecognized journalists for their reporting on conflict, corruption, and injustice.
This year’s winners include Iranian-American journalist Jason Motlagh, Brazilian journalist Rafael Soares, and Khabat Abbas from Syria.
Now in its 20th year, the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism are named in honor of American freelance journalist Kurt Schork, who was killed in Sierra Leone while on assignment for Reuters in 2000.
Recognizing the importance of a free press, USAID helps support journalists in over 30 countries with protection and legal assistance for those under threat. “Our programs,” said Administrator Samantha Power, “help foster independent, fact-based journalism, work we know is foundational for healthy societies and prosperous economies.”
Journalists are often placed at great risk for telling the truth and informing the public, said Administrator Power:
“This is certainly true of the journalists we are honoring who have reported on the war in Afghanistan, extrajudicial killings in Brazil, searing atrocities in Syria, child labor in Pakistan, and the criminal justice system in Nigeria. Their work has shined a light on the realities of war and conflict, and exposed human rights abuses, discrimination, and corruption. And their commitment to speaking truth to power comes at a critical moment for journalism.”
“Attacks on journalists — physical attacks, legal attacks, political attacks, and attacks on press freedoms in general —have been on the rise,” said Administrator Power. The United States stands with the courageous journalists, independent media organizations, and freelancers and stringers throughout the world that carry on their important work despite these threats.