National Press Club Honors Linda Tirado With Press Freedom Award

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2020--The National Press Club is honoring Linda Tirado, an author and freelance photographer, with a 2020 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, Club leaders announced Wednesday.

Tirado was taking pictures of a street protest in Minneapolis on May 30 when a policeman’s foam bullet hit her left eye, costing Tirado most of her sight in that eye.

Tirado is suing the Minneapolis police department, and she faces mounting medical bills for her injury but has no health insurance.

"There's no way that they could have mistaken me — with a professional camera — for anything but working press," Tirado told CNN in June.

Despite what happened to her eye, Tirado told CNN she plans to keep reporting.

"There's absolutely no way this stops me," said Tirado, who wrote a book on life in the working class called "Hand to Mouth."

NPC President Michael Freedman said Tirado “exemplifies the courage and tenacity at the heart of journalism. She also manifests the risks that journalists often face just doing their jobs.”

Angela Greiling Keane, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the club’s nonprofit affiliate, said Tirado’s situation illustrates the risks freelancers, in particular, face.

“Freelancers like Linda Tirado do their jobs bravely despite the fact they often lack health insurance, legal help or other protections that full-time employees are afforded,” Greiling Keane said.

The John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award recognizes people who relentlessly pursue truth in the face of harassment and danger. The National Press Club presents the Aubuchon honor each year to one person from the United States and another from overseas.

The 2020 international recipient is Maria Ressa, executive editor of Rappler, an online news site in the Philippines, and her colleagues. They have continued to report fearlessly amid fierce government repression.

The Club and the Institute plan to celebrate Ressa and Tirado later this year.

The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, represents more than 3,000 reporters, editors and professional communicators worldwide. The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.

Contact: John M. Donnelly, NPC Press Freedom Committee Chairman: 202 650 6738; [email protected]