CBS News' Lara Logan, Al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz named John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winners
July 22, 2011 | By John Donnelly | firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Press Club has selected CBS News correspondent Lara Logan and Al Jazeera’s Dorothy Parvaz as winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for 2011.
The Aubuchon Press Freedom Award honors people whose actions embody the struggle to advance press freedom and open government. Each year, the Club selects one domestic and one international figure to receive the award.
“Among the things both this year's winners have in common is an outstanding determination to be where the news of the day is happening, often amid perilous conflict,” said Club President Mark Hamrick, an AP broadcast journalist. “Reflecting their willingness to rush toward danger, they were wrongly targeted as they sought to transmit truth to the rest of the world.”
The domestic winner is Logan, the CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent and also a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Logan, in Egypt earlier this year to cover the uprising against Hosni Mubarak, was viciously attacked in an unspeakably horrific sexual assault in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the night of Feb. 11.
Two months later, she had the courage to speak about her attack in a riveting "60 Minutes" interview. She did so in the hope, she said, of breaking the “code of silence” that too often surrounds such attacks.
It worked. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported in June that Logan’s interview had prompted dozens of other victims to speak out about attacks that occurred in similar mobs or as reprisals for reporting or while being held in captivity.
The international winner is Al Jazeera’s Parvaz, also a reporter who had to face terrifying conditions merely to do her job. And her story also unfolded amid the Mideast turmoil that was arguably the year’s signature news event.
She was detained on April 29 upon arriving in Syria and placed in a jail where she heard the sounds of savage beatings, before being sent to Iran. All told, she spent 19 days in detention and out of touch with her family and colleagues.
“Their examples serve as reminders how difficult it is to report in the midst of rapidly unfolding, dangerous events,” Hamrick said. “ We celebrate the bravery and tenacity of both Lara Logan and Dorothy Parvaz. “
The Club will honor Logan, Parvaz and other journalists at its annual journalism awards dinner on Aug. 10.
Reservations are required and can be made through Joann Booze (Jbooze@press.org ) at 662-7532, the reservation line at 662-7501 or the front desk at 662-7500. Tickets are $45.