Cumhuriyet newspaper wins journalism prize from Reporters Without Borders

Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet was awarded the prestigious Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Prize for its contribution to defending press freedom.
Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dandundar announced on Wednesday that the daily received the prize on Tuesday night in Strasbourg and shared a photograph of him receiving the award during a ceremony. and”We are proud,and” he wrote in his remarks on Twitter.
According to the Middle East Eye online news portal, Cumhuriyet won the Paris-based media rights groupand’s Media of the Year prize for its andquotindependent and courageous journalism.andquot
Cumhuriyet daily recently covered major stories, including a report exposing photos of arms which it said were transferred to Syria in trucks operated by Turkeyand’s National Intelligence Organization (MiT). The article caused a huge reaction in government circles. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally filed a complaint against Editor-in-Chief Dandundar, demanding a life sentence, an aggravated life sentence and an additional 42-year term of imprisonment for the journalist. Erdogan has lambasted Dandundar for the coverage, promising in televised remarks not to let the journalist go unpunished. and”He will pay a heavy price,and” the president said.
andquotThe public has a right to know whether its government has delivered arms, and to whom. If the government now finds itself with its back to the wall, it cannot blame Cumhuriyet, which just did its joband” an RSF representative, quoted by Middle East Eye, said in a statement in June.
The daily also stood among the leading press organizations that showed solidarity with oppressed journalists and media outlets. Dandundar and a group of journalists from the daily visited the ipek Media Groupand’s headquarters in October to show solidarity against the governmentand’s latest move against critical media. The group was taken over by a government-appointed trustee board.
Press freedom has deteriorated in Turkey year after year under government restrictions. The deterioration has been observed and decried by international organizations. US-based watchdog Freedom House downgraded Turkey from and”Partly Freeand” to and”Not Freeand” in its and”Freedom of the Press 2014and” report, citing a and”significant declineand” in press freedom in Turkey. RSF ranked Turkey 149th out of 180 countries in its latest press freedom index.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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