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CJFE honours Gambia, Ukraine journalists

PRESS RELEASE - INTERNATIONAL

20 September 2005

CJFE honours Gambia, Ukraine journalists with press freedom awards

SOURCE: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Toronto

(CJFE/IFEX) - The following is a CJFE press release:

Gambia, Ukraine Journalists Picked for Press Freedom Award

Seymour Hersh headlines Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Gala

TORONTO, ON - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has selected two outstanding journalists to be honoured at its 8th Annual International Press Freedom Awards gala for outstanding contribution to freedom of expression.

CJFE's 8th Annual International Press Freedom Awards will be held at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on November 1, 2005. This year will welcome guest speaker Seymour Hersh, the controversial investigative journalist who broke the My Lai massacre story in Vietnam, and more recently captured the spotlight with his stories on the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq.

Award winners Mykola Veresen of Ukraine and Alagi Yorro Jallow of Gambia were selected from an exceptional group of nominees, the largest list of submissions CJFE has considered in recent years. The selection committee -- senior journalists Carol Off, Joe Schlesinger, Paul Knox and Sally Armstrong -- received nominations from Syria, Colombia, DRC, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Spain and Uzbekistan in addition to the two nominees.

"The selection committee was impressed by all the submissions," said Rod Macdonell, CJFE's Executive Director. "In the end, Mykola Veresen's and Alagi Yorro Jallow's cases exemplified true fighters for freedom of the press. Their courageous work in the face of great adversity has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to free expression. We look forward to honouring them here in Toronto."

About the nominees:

- Mykola Veresen is a veteran journalist and respected television broadcaster in the Ukraine. He was known as one of the founders of Charter 4, a Kiev-based non-profit group with the goal of engaging the media in monitoring and managing projects that support a civil society in Ukraine. He was the anchor at Channel 5 during the Orange Revolution and became, for many, the voice and face of the Revolution. He was nominated by a private citizen.

- Alagi Yorro Jallow, Managing Editor of The Independent in Gambia, was chosen for his uncompromising and fearless efforts to promote press freedom in Gambia, despite numerous obstacles. CJFE's selection committee was overwhelmed by his ceaseless commitment to uphold and promote press freedom in the Gambia. Mr. Jallow was nominated by World Association of Newspapers.

Both journalists are expected to attend the gala ceremonies to be recognized and honoured for their efforts.

About CJFE

CJFE is an association of more than 300 journalists, editors, producers, publishers, broadcasters, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and around the world. Proceeds from the annual awards dinner help protect free expression in Canada, and support embattled journalists around the world.

ENDS

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