Intrepid Investigative Reporters in Russia and Pakistan Win Premier
International Journalism Award
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A reporter investigating
corruption in Russia and a seasoned Pakistani journalist known for courageous
muckraking reports have won the 2013 Knight International Journalism Award,
the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) announced. The award
recognizes excellent reporting that makes a difference in the lives of people
around the world.
Roman Anin, a reporter for Russia's daily Novaya Gazeta, has demonstrated how
Russian companies and officials have created a culture of corruption that
reaches far beyond the country's borders. Umar Cheema, an investigative
reporter for Pakistan's largest English-language daily, The News, has set a
new standard for courage and quality journalism in a country where reporters
are routinely attacked and murdered.
"These top-notch investigative journalists define bravery," said ICFJ
President Joyce Barnathan. "Their pursuit of the truth, despite serious
threats, is inspiring. They fearlessly expose abuses and ultimately change
The award is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which
funds ICFJ's Knight International Journalism Fellowships Program. The fellows
seed new ideas and services that deepen coverage, expand news delivery and
engage citizens in the editorial process.
Four of Anin's colleagues at Novaya Gazeta have been murdered in the last
decade, but Anin remains undaunted. He continues to document high-level
corruption through his work with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting
His dogged reportingled to documents and data showing nearly $1 billion had
vanished from Russia's budget over a five-year period. It ended up in a maze
of offshore accounts and shell companies throughout Europe, some of it traced
to Russian officials and their relatives. Anin's work sparked investigations
in five countries and the European Union.
He has helped break stories in the Financial Times, the BBC and Sveriges
Television (SVT), Sweden's public broadcaster. SVT collaborated with Anin on a
story that revealed corruption in a deal between Swedish telecom TeliaSonera
and the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. The report led to the
resignation of the telecom's CEO.
In Pakistan, Cheema has been a resolute force in investigative journalism. In
2010, he was kidnapped and brutally tortured for writing critical stories
about the government. Since then, he has churned out a steady stream of
hard-hitting reports. He documented how car smugglers rake in huge profits
without paying taxes. He mined data to expose how top lawmakers spend little
time in Parliament working on legislation.
Two years ago, Cheema founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in
Pakistan. In its initial report, he analyzed the tax records of 446 lawmakers
and ministers. He discovered that nearly 70 percent of legislators did not
file income taxes in 2011, including President Asif Ali Zardari. After his
story ran, the government instituted rules forcing candidates in contested
elections to submit tax returns.
Anin and Cheema, who were selected by a prestigious panel of judges, will be
honored at ICFJ's Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7. Seasoned
journalists and Knight International Journalism Fellows nominated the
The International Center for Journalists
advances quality journalism worldwide. Our hands-on programs combine the best
professional practices with new technologies. We believe that responsible
journalism empowers citizens and holds governments accountable. For more,
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas
that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities
and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and
communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit
SOURCE International Center for Journalists
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