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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Reporters Without Borders awards Honduran editor for speaking out against military abuse




Honduran journalist Karla Rivas became the first woman honored with the 2011 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism awarded by Reporters Without Borders and the Global Media Forum on Oct. 20, announced the organizations.

Rivas is a news editor for Radio Progreso, a Jesuit radio station occupied by the Honduran military during the Central American country's 2009 coup d'état.

Radio plays a key role in informing Honduras' mostly rural population, according to AFP. When soldiers left the radio station, sympathizers camped around Radio Progreso's building to keep the military from returning. The next day, Radio Progreso dared to start broadcasting the news again, reported AFP. "How were we going to disappoint all those that were protecting the radio station," Rivas said.

"Karla Rivas became a vocal opponent of the military tactics and continues to defend Radio Progreso's right to broadcast uncensored information," read a press release from the Peter Mackler award's organizers.

In her acceptance speech, Rivas named the 16 journalists killed in Honduras since 2009, among them one of her fellow editors from Radio Progreso.

The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was founded in June 2008 to honor the memory of Peter Mackler, a Brooklyn-born thirty-five year veteran journalist who championed ethical journalism and freedom of expression. The award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized.

For more on this story, see this video from Reporters Without Borders on the military occupation of Radio Progreso.



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