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IN THE NEWS - Women Journalists From Lebanon, China and U.S. Are Honored for Brave Reporting

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This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

From left: Gao Yu, May Chidiac and Elena Poniatowska
From left: Gao Yu, May Chidiac and Elena Poniatowska

The International Women's Media Foundation presented three Courage in Journalism Awards this week at a ceremony in New York. One went to May Chidiac, a Lebanese broadcaster who survived a bomb attack last year.

Another went to Gao Yu, a Chinese journalist who was jailed for six years. And the third went to American reporter Jill Carroll who was held by kidnappers in Iraq.

Each year the foundation honors women journalists whose work has made them champions of a free press. The Courage in Journalism Award is for reporting the news under dangerous or difficult conditions.

Jill Carroll was reporting for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper when she was kidnapped on January seventh. Her interpreter, Alan Eniwya, was killed.

Miz Carroll was held hostage for eighty-two days. She was released on March thirtieth and, a few days later, she returned to the United States. She had reported from Iraq for three years before her kidnapping.

May Chidiac of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation is one of the best known faces on Lebanese television. In September of two thousand five, a bomb exploded under the driver's seat of her car. She lost her left hand and left leg in the explosion.

She had just completed a show about the suspected involvement of Syria in the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. May Chidiac required nine months of treatment and twenty-six operations. In May, she won the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize. She returned to her job in July.

Chinese economic and political reporter Gao Yu also won the Courage in Journalism Award in nineteen ninety-five. But she was not able to accept the award the first time because she was being held in prison.

Gao Yu was sentenced to six years in prison in nineteen ninety-three. She was found guilty of leaking state secrets through a Hong Kong newspaper. She received a medical release in March of nineteen ninety-nine.

She was also arrested in connection with the nineteen eighty-nine pro-democracy movement in China.

The foundation also gave Elena Poniatowska of Mexico a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a newspaper reporter and author. She is well known for fighting against corruption and for the rights of women and the poor.

During the ceremony on Tuesday, a moment of silence was observed in memory of Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya. She was murdered in Moscow on October seventh. She won the Courage in Journalism Award in two thousand two.

Anna Politkovskaya wrote for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. She was a strong critic of Russia's human rights record in Chechnya. The International Women's Media Foundation is leading a campaign to call on the Russian government to fully investigate her murder.

IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English was written by Brianna Blake. You can find MP3 files and transcripts of our reports at www.unsv.com. I'm Steve Ember.

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