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Media Rights Monitor - December 2001


Iranian Editor Wins RSF's Fondation De France Prize

Reporters sans frontières' (RSF) has awarded its 10th Fondation de France Prize to Reza Alijani, editor-in-chief of the Iranian magazine Iran-é-Farda, in recognition of his commitment to the defense of press freedom in Iran. Alijan has been detained in prison since February; ten months after the government banned his magazine.

RSF calls him "one of the rare journalists who has dared to defend freedom of the press in Iran through his interviews on foreign radios and articles in the national press." RSF says Iran-é-Farda magazine is popular among students and has become a "reference for the partisans of reform." Iran holds the record of being "the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East," says RSF. As at 28 November, 17 Iranian journalists remain in jail, and the government since April 2000 has banned over 40 publications.

RSF awards the Fondation de France Prize worth 7,600 Euros (approx. US$6,800) to journalists who "through their work, beliefs or attitudes, have demonstrated their devotion to the ideal of press freedom." Past winners include Burmese journalist and writer San San Nweh, Syria's Nizar Nayyouf and Carmen Gurruchaga of Spain.

Champion Cartoonist, Elenwoke Gets Global Honour

Global honour came the way of Champion Newspapers' cartoonist and illustrator, Mr. Ikechi Eliezer Elenwoke, as he emerged one of the two Africans whose works won honourable mention at the prestigious United Nations (UN) Ranan Lurie Political Cartoons Awards for the year 2001.

Mr. Elenwoke and Popa Mutumula of The African Newspapers, Dodoma, Tanzania, were the two Africans who made it to the final list of 13 winners selected from thousands of entries from all over the world by a panel of seasoned judges led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Elie Wiesel.

The first three winners were honoured at a ceremony in New York while Mr. Elenwoke and the ten others receive a plaque, honouring their achievements, signed by UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan

Mr. Elenwoke's winning piece was an editorial cartoon published in the Daily Champion of June 13, 2001. The highly instructive work depicted the chequered attempt of the UN to stem global crises, to no avail.

The annual Ranan Lurie Awards named after a Jewish American who is acclaimed one of the best political cartoonists of all time, started in February 19, 1995, and goes to the best cartoons of the genre.

ICHR President Wins 2002 Chapultepec Grand Prize

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has awarded Claudio Grossman, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) its 2002 Chapultepec Grand Prize.

The award honours individuals for their "work and commitment to promoting and disseminating the principles of the 1994 Declaration of Chapultepec," which sets out guidelines for safeguarding freedom of expression and press freedom in the Western Hemisphere. In his current capacity, Grossman serves as the rapporteur for women's rights and has participated in ICHR missions to countries including Brazil, Haiti and Peru. In 1996 and 2000, he was elected to one-year terms as president of ICHR, which examines grievances put forward by alleged victims of human rights violations in the Americas, conducts investigative missions and drafts treaties.

Zimbabwean Editor Wins WAN 2002 Golden Pen of Freedom Award

Geoffrey Nyarota, editor-in-chief of the privately owned Zimbabwean Daily News, was been awarded the World Association of Newspaper's (WAN) 2002 Golden Pen of Freedom award. The award honours Nyarota's "outstanding defence of press freedom in the face of constant persecution."

WAN eulogised Nyarota for editing a "newspaper which has gained the trust of his readers by fearlessly providing them with the truth about government corruption and the country's economic and social upheaval." The editor-in-chief has been arrested, jailed and threatened with death for overseeing the Daily News' reportage, which has brought the wrath of the government for its coverage of the takeover of white-run farms by Zimbabwean war veterans.

In Zimbabwe, independent and foreign journalists have recently experienced an escalation of attacks and threats from the government of Robert Mugabe especially with the take over of white owned farmlands with the approval of the government.

Endowment For Democracy Announces Journalism Fellowships

World-wide democracy activists, practitioners, schol ars, and journalists have a chance to deepen their understanding of democracy with the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program, organized by the National Endowment for Democracy.

The fellowships seek to enhance the ability of the fellows to promote democracy. They are intended primarily to support practitioners and scholars from new and aspiring democracies.

Fellows will be in residence at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, the research and publications arm of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), located in Washington, D.C.

The Forum hosts 12-15 fellows per year for three to 10 months each. Each fellow will receive a monthly stipend for living expenses, plus health insurance and reimbursement for travel to and from Washington.

Stipend levels range from a minimum of $3,500 per month to a maximum of $7,500 per month, taking into account the fellow's previous annual income, level of experience, and the cost of living in Washington. Limited funds may be available for travel within the United States.

Applicants for Reagan-Fascell fellowships must choose between two tracks: a practitioner track (typically three to five months) to improve strategies and techniques for building democracy and to exchange information with counterparts in the United States; and a research and writing track (typically five to ten months) to conduct original research for publication.

Applicants who will focus on research and writing are expected to have a Ph.D. or, for non-academics, to have published in an area of expertise. The program is not designed to support students working toward a degree.

Applications should be sent by airmail as well as by e-mail to the addresses listed below. They should consist of eight copies of a 10-page description of the proposed project and a discussion on how the proposed project will advance public understanding of the theory or practice of democracy. Applicants should also include eight copies of a detailed CV or resume, and three letters of reference.

The deadline for fellowships is April 1, 2002, but applicants are encouraged to submit their materials earlier. For more information, visit, or contact Kristin Helz, program assistant, Fellowship Programs, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, Telephone (202) 293-0300. Fax (202) 293-0258. E-mail

Fisher Fellowship Open To Journalists From Developing Countries

Journalists from the Commonwealth countries, and members of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU), have until February 18, 2002 to apply for the 2002-2003 Gordon Fisher Fellowship.

The fellowship is open to any journalist who is fully employed by a newspaper or news agency in membership of the CPU. Particular consideration will be given to journalists from developing countries.

The successful candidate is able to choose from a wide range of university courses and activities at the University of Toronto, Canada, and is free to audit any graduate or undergraduate course and to use all university facilities. The university, however, does not offer courses in journalism or media studies.

Appointed as Fellow-at-Large at the University of Toronto, the successful candidate receives all privileges, including membership and living accommodations in Massey College, the graduate college within the University.

The Fisher Fellowship program combines general education with concentration in at least two courses. In a parallel, extra-curricular program, the Fisher Fellow meets regularly with Southam Fellows in informal seminars to discuss contemporary issues with eminent personalities from a wide variety of professions.

Each applicant must be a full-time employee with a newspaper or news service with at least three years' experience. Applicants must have employer consent for a leave of absence and undertake to rejoin the sponsoring employer for a minimum of one year at the completion of the fellowship program. The application should include a proposal for a plan of study, a statement of the applicant's experience, samples of work, supporting letter from the employer, and three references.

The fellowship runs from September 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003.

Interested parties should fax entries to Jane Rangeley on +44 20 7583 7733.The original copies should also be mailed, together with background papers, to reach the CPU by February 18, 2002. Mail to Jane Rangeley, training director, CPU, 17 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AA. More information is available on the Massey College Web site at

John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists

The John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists is awarded annually to twelve U.S. and up to eight foreign editors, journalists, reporters, photographers, radio and television broadcasters. Foreign journalists aree expected to have had five years experience.

Successful applicants for the Fellowship receive a $50,000 stipend plus a book allowance and tuition.

The program gives outstanding journalists an academic year at Stanford to broaden and deepen their understanding of economic, historical, philosophical, social issues and trends shaping the nation and world. For further information and application form contact: Director, Knight Fellowships, Bldg. 120, Room 424, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305?2050; Tel: (650) 723?4937; Fax: (650) 725?6154; E-mail:

Deadline for submission of forms for US applicants is February 1 whle international applicants have until March 1to submit theirs.

Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships (AFPF)

The programme takes approximately twelve mid-career
reporters and editors- usually between the ages of 25 and 35-to America for a six-month, in-depth, practical introduction to the professional and ethical standards of the U.S. print media.

AFPF offers these working fellowships to non-U.S. print journalists from developing and transitional countries with an emerging free press.

Applicant are expected to have an excellent command of written and spoken English, be in early to mid-career status, with at least three years experience as a print journalist, show a demonstrated commitment to a career in journalism in the home country, and current employment as a journalist with an independent print media organization in a developing or transitional country.

The Fellowship covers all costs of programme-related international and domestic U.S. travel, and provides a monthly stipend. The program begins in June with a two-week orientation seminar in Washington followed by five-month deployment to U.S. host newspapers.

Completed applications are expected to get be submitted latest February 1 for the program beginning in June of that year.

For more information and/or an application, visit AFPF's, Web Site: or contact AFPF at: 2000 L Street N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036-4997; Telephone: (202) 416-1691; Fax: (202) 416-1695; E-mail:

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