Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

EWC Gala Awards Journalists Recognized for Courage in a Dangerous Profession

Honorees Offer Hope and Inspiration
Tom+Grundy%2C+Founder+and+Editor+of+the+Hong+Kong+Free+Press+Accepts+his+award
Emma Caires
Tom Grundy, Founder and Editor of the Hong Kong Free Press Accepts his award

Seven ‘Journalists of Courage and Impact’ tugged on heartstrings and brought pride to the world of journalism at a special gala awards dinner at the East-West Center’s International Media Conference under way in Manila. For some, the award was the sole recognition for decades of decades of reporting against headwinds of dangers and suppression.

Each of the seven, with the exception of Alan C. Miller who attended virtually, were brought to tears while accepting their lei, plaque, and picture with EWC President Suzy Vares-Lum. Their background, biggest accomplishments, and obstacles were summarized by host Glenn van Zutphen as each were awarded on stage.

“Today’s award is the only award that I can say I have received for this profession,” said Pakistan’s Kamal Siddiqi during his speech.

Siddiqi has been in his career for over 30 years and said he has almost solely been met with backlash, hate speech, and threats. Up until this conference, he had yet to receive any tangible form of positive recognition from anyone in the journalism realm.

Sincha Dimara of Papua New Guinea spoke about her experience with losing her job alongside 23 other coworkers under Media Niugini for allegedly defying management. This led to her team creating Inside PNG that is still running strong.

“I am humbled,” Dimara said. “I want to dedicate this to those who have persevered, risked their lives, and those we have lost who have strived to speak truth to power.”

This act of speaking truth to power often goes hand-in-hand with risking safety and security for journalists, especially those in countries where truth is a foreign or manufactured concept.

“Forty journalists have been killed just this year in Pakistan, simply for doing their job,” Siddiqi said. “Rarely any journalist death is investigated. Simple recognition like this keeps us pushing for the truth.”

Similarly, Ana Marie (Amy) Pamintuan, the editor-in-chief of Manila-based English daily The Philippine Star, spoke about the privilege that comes with being able to accept an award for a profession that puts lives on the line everyday.

“It’s important to acknowledge the privilege we have to sit here in comfort and safety while talking about our profession, while so many others are in dark and dangerous places,” Pamintuan said. “We must pay respect to those who are risking their lives everyday to showcase what all of us stand for.”

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Emma Caires
Emma Caires, Contributor
Aloha! My name is Emma Caires, and I am an incoming senior journalism major at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. I thoroughly enjoy expanding my range in journalism by reporting on a variety of events regarding our campus and students, but my favorite area, as of right now, is feature writing, specifically human-interest stories. I’m looking forward to further immersing myself in campus life and knowledge through this program.

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