International Center for Journalists Awards Dinner Honors CBS News Anchor Bob Schieffer and Three Outstanding International Journalists

Jul 192006

Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria to Be Guest Speaker

Washington, D.C. — The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will present its first Founders’ Award for Excellence in Journalism to CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer for his commitment to the highest professional standards at the annual Excellence in International Journalism Awards Dinner on Nov. 15.

ICFJ also will honor journalists from Iraq, Croatia and Kazakhstan for their achievements in the face of political and economic threats. “These journalists have proven that professional journalism is possible even in countries where the press operates under difficult, and often dangerous, conditions,” ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan said. “By honoring their efforts, we hope to encourage others to follow their example, and thereby promote more open and transparent societies.”

Newsweek editor and columnist Fareed Zakaria will be the guest speaker at the awards dinner, and ABC News “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos will host the evening’s festivities at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Founder’s Award for Excellence in Journalism honors ICFJ's three founders – Tom Winship (former editor of The Boston Globe), Jim Ewing (former publisher of The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire) and George Krimsky (former AP correspondent and now with the Republican American in Waterbury, Conn.) – and their dedication to independent, high-quality journalism worldwide. ICFJ honors Schieffer for his career-long commitment to the finest professional journalism, and his unswerving support for colleagues overseas.

Schieffer has covered Washington for CBS News for more than 30 years, and is anchor of “The CBS Evening News” and “Face the Nation.” He is one of the few journalists to cover the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill. Before joining CBS News in 1969, Schieffer was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and, in 1965, became the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam.

Croatia’s Drago Hedl of the Feral Tribune and Iraq’s Shadha al-Jubori of the BBC will receive Knight International Journalism Awards. The award honors individuals who have done outstanding journalism and have raised the standards of media excellence in their countries. This award is given by the Knight International Press Fellowships Program, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

• Drago Hedl, editor of the Feral Tribune has endured death threats, litigation, beatings and verbal abuse for his reporting of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. His struggle against ultra-nationalism, wartime propaganda and hate speech, and for tolerance and the rule of law, has led to accusations of treason. His support for sending indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague has further provoked his opponents.

• As head of the BBC’s Arabic-service bureau in Baghdad, Shadha al-Jubori takes her life in her hands every day in one of the most dangerous places for journalists. A Shiite living in a Sunni neighborhood of the Iraqi capital, she has covered the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, the appointment of Iraq’s first post-Saddam elected government and – in the company of military or police units – the insurgencies in Baghdad’s Sadr City and in Najaf.

Kazakhstan-based journalist Bagila Bukharbayeva will receive the Paul Klebnikov Prize for Courage in Journalism. The Paul Klebnikov Fund recognizes an experienced journalist whose work best exemplifies Klebnikov’s vision of journalism as a force for civic betterment in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union.

Bagila Bukharbayeva has dodged bullets and reported bravely on repressive governmental policies and human-rights abuses in Uzbekistan, her home country. As the Associated Press's Central Asia correspondent, she oversees the wire service's regional coverage, supervising and editing the work of stringers. Bukharbayeva has not returned home since she reported on the Andijan uprising in May, 2005 when the Uzbek government's violent response to the revolt led to the deaths of more than 700 people, and the wounding of thousands more, in the eastern city.