Canada and United Kingdom announce recipient of the 2023 Media Freedom Award
May 1, 2023 - New York, United States - Global Affairs Canada
The 2023 Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award has been presented today to independent Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr for extraordinary commitment to high-quality independent journalism. The newspaper continued to report, amidst a takedown of their website and legal threats to its reporters. This award signals Canada and the UK’s enduring commitment to supporting free and independent journalism.
Since its inception almost ten years ago, the online newspaper has been recognised for its unyielding commitment to high-quality journalism despite external pressures. The paper has stood their ground despite having their website blocked in Egypt, and its journalists, including Editor-in-Chief Lina Attalah, facing legal charges.
The award has been made during the fourth Media Freedom Coalition event in New York, by Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York and James Kariuki, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Established in 2020, the Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom award recognises those who have championed freedom of speech and democracy. Mada Masr is Egypt's leading independent media outlet and is known for its free news coverage in Egypt and across the wider Middle East.
As the 2023 winner, Mada Masr joins former Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award recipients, Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang, who was named as winner in 2022, and 2020 winner the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
The announcement of the third Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award comes ahead of UN World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
“Today, more than ever before, journalists are on the frontline of the battle to uphold democratic freedoms and the Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award continues to recognise those who work tirelessly to promote and protect free speech.
“I’m delighted to honour the work of editor Lina Attalah and her team, who have upheld those ideals amidst significant pressure. I hope that independent media outlets around the world will take this as a signal that we will always support them.”
- James Kariuki, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
“Media freedom is central to democratic societies, and essential to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It takes courage and conviction to be among those on the frontlines advocating for our human rights and defending against efforts to undermine them.
“Today I am honoured to present the Canada-UK Media Freedom Award to Editor-in-Chief of Mada Masr, Lina Attalah and her team, who remain fierce advocates for independent journalism in Egypt and the wider Middle East.”
- Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York
The Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award was started in 2020 at the second Global Conference for Media Freedom, which was hosted by Canada and Botswana.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists won the inaugural Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award in 2020 in recognition for its commitment to journalistic ethics and principles in the face of crackdowns on media in Belarus.
In 2022, the second winner of the Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award was announced as Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang during the third Global Media Freedom Conference in Estonia.
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
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