Hafiz Babali - the candidates for the Free Media Awards 2019

Baku/16.08.19/Turan: The Fritt Ord Foundation and the ZEIT Foundation"s press prizes go to the regional online newspaper 7x7 in Northwest Russia for their unique teamwork and cooperation between journalists, bloggers and activists, The Insider, for their fact checking and critical investigative journalism in Russia, made in collaboration with other international media outlets. CivilNet from Armenia for the important role they played during the civil and political revolution. The Azerbaijan investigative journalist Hafiz Babali for his efforts to show both Azerbaijanis and the international community alike the tremendous scope of the corruption that exists among the political and financial elite in the country, and the magazine Novoye Vremya for their investigative stories on corruption and the abuse of power among politicians and other state government employees in Ukraine.

"The situation for press freedom in the region is so critical, and the candidates for the Free Media Awards so many and worthy, that the Fritt Ord Foundation and the Zeit Foundation have decided from this year on to increase the number of awards from three to five", says Knut Olav Åmås, executive director at the Fritt Ord Foundation.

"The five recipients of our 2019 Free Media Awards are all brave journalists working extensively with important journalism revealing corruption, organized crime, human rights violations, and abuse of power in critical ways that serve the public", says Knut Olav Åmås.

Since 2016, Free Media Awards have been awarded each year to independent journalists or courageous media organisations from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia or Armenia. The 2019 awards will be bestowed at the Free Media Awards Conference, under the auspices of the Fritt Ord Foundation and the ZEIT-Stiftung, on 18 - 19 November 2019 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The press prizes amount is 15.000, - € for each of the prize laureates. -0-

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