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Asma Shirazi of Pakistan named 2014 winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

Global Media Forum, the US branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Agence France-Presse are pleased to announce that Asma Shirazi is the 2014 winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 23rd.

Asma Shirazi, 38, is Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and has reported on several recent conflicts including the Israel-Lebanon War in 2006, Taliban violence on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2009, and General Pervez Musharraf's 2007 state of emergency in Pakistan.

Ms. Shirazi hosted two popular television talk shows, including one on Parliamentary affairs entitled “Parliament Cafeteria” which allowed her to become Pakistan’s first female Parliamentary correspondent. The show was banned by General Musharraf as he sought to exert more control over coverage of the country’s political processes.  

Undeterred by death threats and personal risk, Ms. Shirazi has demonstrated courage, professionalism and dedication in the search for truth in a country where talk shows are as risky as war reporting.

 "We are thrilled to recognize the courage and dedication to journalistic ethics that Ms. Shirazi has displayed every day of her career," said Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award. "At great personal risk, Ms. Shirazi has continued to ensure that unbiased, free information is available throughout Pakistan.  She not only epitomizes the values our award seeks to recognize, she continues to be a role model to young women in Pakistan and in all other parts of the world.”
"By awarding Asma Shirazi, we pay tribute to the courage of those who fight for freedom of information in Pakistan, where seven journalists were murdered in connection with their work in 2013. Facing harsh oppression, Shirazi demonstrates every day outstanding journalistic skills,” said Delphine Halgand, US Director, Reporters Without Borders.

“AFP is happy to be associated with this recognition of Asma Shirazi’s great courage and perseverance in reporting on conflict and politics in Pakistan despite the personal dangers she faced,” said David Millikin, AFP’s director for North America.   

Pakistan is currently ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. Ms. Shirazi is the second woman to win the Peter Mackler Award.

About the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism
The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was founded in June, 2008 to honor the memory of Peter Mackler, a Brooklyn-born thirty-five year veteran journalist who championed ethical journalism and freedom of expression. Mackler helped transform the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) into the international competitor that it is today.  Mackler also founded the Global Media Forum, which trained journalists and non-profit organizations to use the media as a tool for social change, and Project Plato, teaching journalism as a life skill to disadvantaged teenagers.
The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized.  The Award is administered by Global Media Forum in partnership with Reporters Without Borders, and Agence France-Presse.
The Award ceremony will take place on October 23, 2014 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045.  The ceremony will be followed by a networking hour.  The ceremony is open to the public. Register now.

About AFP
AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,260 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.

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