Cyril Almeida Recognized As 71st World Press Freedom Hero

International Press Institute (IPI) has awarded Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida for his controversial coverage of civil-military relationship.

Almeida was awarded for ‘his tenacious coverage of the Pakistani state’s patronage of militant groups,’ the Vienna-based IPI said in a statement [Rahat Dar/EPA-EFE]
Cyril Almeida, Pakistan’s controversial journalist, has been hailed as the 71st World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute (IPI) because of his coverage of civil-military relationships that led to a national controversy.

The editor and columnist will be presented with this award during a special ceremony on June 5, 2019. The ceremony will take place during IPI’s annual world congress in general assembly in Geneva. This award is given to the journalists who have contributed significantly to the field, despite the challenges involved. Cyril is the second Press Freedom Hero from Pakistan, first being Aslam Ali.

”IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero award honours journalists who have made significant contributions to the promotion of Press Freedom, particularly in the face of great personal risk” said a statement issued by the institute.

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”A Rhode scholar with a law degree from Oxford University, Almeida briefly worked as a lawyer in Pakistan before entering journalism. After joining Dawn, a highly respected English language publication, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the country’s most brilliant analysts” – it added.

“I am grateful to the IPI-IMS jury for its acknowledgement of the fight to preserve and protect media freedom in Pakistan” – IPI statement said, quoting Almedia. 

“Almeida embodied the dedication to press freedom and courageous public-interest journalism shared by all of IPI’s Heroes. Cyril Almeida has demonstrated tremendous resolve in tackling – at great risk to himself – deeply contentious issues that are nevertheless of central importance to Pakistan’s democracy” –  said IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi.

Speaking to an international reporting source, Alemedia said that the pressure is now increasing more than ever, and the press space is further shrinking.

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