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10 February 2022

Ahmad: Journalists Under Attack Across the World

Democracy is under attack around the world and journalists who shine their lights into those dark corners are "paying a heavy price," Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon has said. 

Lord Ahmad's warning comes at the third Global Media Freedom Conference which is currently taking place in Estonia. 

Today, the 2022 Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award was awarded to Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang who is known for her books on democracy and her articles on civil society and dissidents in Vietnam. 

Announcing the award, Lord Ahmad said: "Democracy is under attack around the world, and journalists who shine their lights into those dark corners are paying a heavy price.

"The truth is always worth pursuing and that's why the UK and Canada established the Media Freedom Award. This award recognises the journalists, individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to promote and protect media freedom.

"I am delighted to announce that this year's winner of the Media Freedom Award is Pham Doang Trang. I congratulate Pham Doang Trang as a courageous, award-winning independent journalist and human rights defender from Vietnam."

The UK government has also announced that it has now committed up to £600,000 towards a new secretariat for the Media Freedom Coalition which has seen 50 countries come together to improve the safety of journalists, protect media freedom and hold those to account who harm journalists for doing their job.

Lord Ahmad added: “Our new funding will further the crucial work of defending media freedom wherever it is under threat, supporting brave journalists around the world on the frontline of defending democracy.”

The NMA is working to promote a safer environment for journalists, including representing the industry on the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists which produced the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists.