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Kamal Siddiqi among 7 Journalists to Receive Prestigious Media Award


Pakistani Journalist Kamal Siddiqi among 7 Journalists to Receive Prestigious Media Award in Philippines. At an awards banquet held Monday evening as part of the East-West Center’s International Media Conference in Manila, Philippines, the Center recognized seven journalists who exemplify the impact that EWC media program participants have had throughout Asia and the Pacific.  

Since they began in 2014, the “Journalists of Courage and Impact” awards have been given out at each of the Center’s biennial media conferences, with 29 total recipients thus far. “This award really reflects the East-West Center’s commitment to the critical role of journalism in fostering good governance and healthy and free societies,” master of ceremonies Glenn van Zutphen, founder and CEO of Van Media Group in Singapore, said at the ceremony. “It also reminds us all of the adversity and challenges facing many journalists today. As we sit here tonight, scores of journalists across the globe reporting courageously in conflict zones and elsewhere are being targeted for their dedication to shining light in some very, very dark places, and to holding power to accountability.”  

This year’s honorees are:

Kamal Siddiqi

Kamal Siddiqi

Former Director of News, Aaj TV, Karachi, Pakistan.
A journalist and media analyst with over 30 years of experience in print, digital and electronic media, Kamal Siddiqi was the Director of News of Aaj TV, one of Pakistan’s leading news channels, until March 2024. Previously, he was the first editor of The Express Tribune, an English language daily in Pakistan affiliated with the International New York Times from 2009-2016. Like many journalists in Pakistan, he has faced intimidation, harassment, and threats by both state and non-state actors, as well as corporate pressures. He has written extensively and spoken widely about the state of the media in Pakistan, attacks on journalists, media censorship, and state harassment of reporters.

Sincha Dimara

News Editor, Inside PNG, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
After she was suspended by the country’s largest TV station while investigating a series of stories on a controversial Australian businessman and convicted drug dealer living in the country, the government-owned station’s newsroom of 24 journalists walked out in protest. As a result, Dimara and the entire team were fired. Refusing to be silenced, she and her team created a new online news service, “Inside PNG,” which today is owned and run by its journalists and content producers, with a mission to provide the best possible independent alternative for Papua New Guineans.

Tom Grundy

Tom Grundy

Editor-in-Chief & Founder, Hong Kong Free Press, Hong Kong. 
Grundy founded the nonprofit Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 as an impartial and independent news source funded by readers, run by journalists, and backed by an ethics code. As Hong Kong has plummeted in international press freedom indices in recent years, his team has seen it all: cyberattacks, threats, visa trouble, harassment, physical attacks, media bans, and more than their fair share of pepper spray and tear gas. But they have also won prestigious awards and grants and were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize as they remain focused on delivering original features and on-the-ground reporting.

Alan C. Miller 

Founder, the News Literacy Project, Washington, DC, USA. 
A former Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter with The Los Angeles Times, Miller helped launch the field of news literacy when he started the News Literacy Project in 2008. Today, the project’s widely acclaimed resources are being used in all 50 states, helping students, teachers, and people of all ages and backgrounds learn how to identify credible news and understand the indispensable role a free press has in a democracy. For this work, Alan has received the East-West Center’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2022 AARP Purpose Prize, and he was named one of the Washingtonians of the Year in 2020.

John Nery

Columnist and Editorial Consultant, Rappler, Quezon City, Philippines. 
An acclaimed journalist for over 25 years, Nery’s analysis and reporting focus on politics, history, and the rule of law, but he also tracks climate change issues and the South China Sea disputes. He is active in efforts to help journalists organize themselves against attacks on journalism.   
Nery is a member of the board of trustees of the Asian Center for Journalism in Manila and a member of the board of directors of the World Justice Project in Washington, DC. He has received both national and international recognition for his work, including a National Book Award in the journalism category and an Award for Excellence from the Society of Publishers in Asia for opinion writing. He is a biographer of Philippines national hero Jose Rizal, and a book of reflections on journalism, media, and the press is forthcoming. 

Ana Marie Pamintuan,

Editor-in-Chief, The Philippine Star, Manila, Philippines.
Starting as a reporter and rising through the ranks to become Editor-in-Chief, Ana Marie Pamintuan has been with the English-language daily The Philippine Star since the paper was launched in 1986. Along the way, she has covered various beats from the police and judiciary to local government and national politics, and has built a reputation for fearless journalism, addressing controversial and sensitive topics with clarity and insight. She has won numerous awards for her work, most recently as Journalist of the Year by the Manila Overseas Press Club, the oldest press club in Asia. In addition, she co-hosts The Chiefs, a news and current affairs television talk show that has won several prestigious awards for public affairs programming.  

Soe Myint

Soe Myint, 

Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director,  Mizzima, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (In-person receipt of 2022 award.)
In 1998, Soe Myint cofounded the news organization Mizzima in India while living in exile from Myanmar’s previous military dictatorship. Despite harsh government treatment of anyone accused of giving information to news outlets, Mizzima News continued to provide accurate and timely information on the closed nation to exiled citizens and the outside world. In 2012, Mizzima became the first exiled news organization to return to the country as it emerged for a period from repressive military rule.

But in 2021, after the military again seized full power and plunged the country into civil war, Soe Myint was forced to take Mizzima into exile once again when the regime forcibly shut down its free-to-air TV channel. Operating from across the border in Thailand, however, Mizzima continues to broadcast and publish independent news and information reaching more than 30 million readers and viewers worldwide.  

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