Thursday, May 11, 2006In dozens of countries around the world, journalists regularly face obstacles in order to get the news out. Whether the threats be judicial, physical or otherwise, these dedicated and principled individuals continue to work tirelessly - often risking their lives - so that the news media remain free. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) bestows two International Press Freedom Awards every year in recognition of the courage of journalists who work tirelessly - often risking their lives - so that the news media remain free. In 2005, CJFE honoured journalists from The Gambia and Ukraine. CJFE also awards The Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award to recognise a Canadian journalist who, through his or her work, has made an important contribution to reinforcing and promoting the principle of freedom of the press in this country or elsewhere. The award was last bestowed in 2004 when Canadian/French journalist Guy-André Kieffer was honoured. In 1999, the Canadian Press Freedom Award was re-named in honour of Tara Singh Hayer, a Canadian journalist and editor of the Vancouver-based Indo-Canadian Times, who was assassinated in November 1998. His murder demonstrated that protecting freedom of expression is a matter of concern not just beyond Canada's borders. To be eligible for the awards, applicants must be nominated by an organisation or individual. Self-nominations are not accepted. Nomination Criteria for the International Press Freedom Award The winner of the award will be a journalist or media organisation who: # reports on human rights issues or other issues, or from regions or countries, not often covered by other media; # demonstrates a commitment to human rights by reporting without bias, sexism, racism, etc.; # has not won a major press freedom award from another organization; # will benefit from international exposure due to the difficulty/threats caused by their work; # has overcome enormous odds simply to produce the news; # and has taken personal risks or suffered physical reprisals for working as a journalist. Nomination Criteria for the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award The winner of the award will be a journalist who fits one or more of the criteria: # has highlighted cases of media repression in Canada or around the world; # has chronicled attempts at or actual censorship; # work has involved difficult-to-obtain access to information requests; # has taken personal risks or suffered physical reprisals for working as a journalist; # has overcome enormous odds simply to produce the news. When making a nomination, please send a cover letter outlining how the journalist or media organisation fulfils the stated criteria; biographical & professional information on the nominee, along with samples of the nominee's work and contact details. Submissions in French or English may be in the form of video tapes, audio tapes, articles or columns aired or published between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006. Each award consists of a framed plaque and cash prize of CDN $3,000. They will be presented to the winner at a ceremony in Toronto on November 1, 2006. Submissions must reach CJFE by June 30, 2006 For further information or to submit a nomination, please contact Julie Payne at CJFE, 555 Richmond St. West, Suite 1101, PO Box 407, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1 Canada, tel: +1 416 515 9622, fax: +1 416 515 7879, or e-mail
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