National Press Club

National Press Club and its Journalism Institute recognize Reuters journalists with press freedom award

February 27, 2018 | By Julie Schoo | jschoo@press.org

In a year when journalists have been targeted by governments and forces who see freedom of information as a threat to their power, the National Press Club and its nonprofit Journalism Institute are recognizing Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Reuters journalists who have been on the front lines of the struggle, with its 2018 Aubuchon Press Freedom Award. The awards will be presented at the Club’s annual Fourth Estate Award gala in the fall.

Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been detained in Myanmar since December 12, 2017, for allegedly being in possession of secret official documents and violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. Reuters recently published their groundbreaking investigation into a massacre of Rohingyas at Inn Din village. You can read their full report here.

National Press Club president Andrea Edney said: “Abuses of press freedoms are growing in places as disparate as Myanmar, Turkey and Mexico and as unexpected as our own United States, making the security of reporters and, by extension, the rights of the public, more important than ever. The work of reporters like Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is crucial to the right of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable.”

"If the Myanmar government wishes to become a stable, prosperous and thriving nation, it must accept that freedom of the press and respect for human rights is an integral part of achieving that," said Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute.

The Aubuchon Press Freedom Award honors people whose actions embody the struggle to advance press freedom and open government. Each year, the Club selects a domestic and an international recipient or recipients of the award.

The National Press Club, founded in 1908, is a leading professional organization for journalists. Through its non-profit Journalism Institute and its Press Freedom Team, the Club stands up for journalists, transparency and freedom of speech at home and abroad.