The National Press Club Honors Media Heroes

The National Press Club LogoThe US National Press Club has awarded post-mortem the 2012 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, honoring three journalists who lost their lives while covering the conflict in Syria. Reporters Anthony Shadid – a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik, died in Syria during February. While The New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid died after suffering an asthma attack while traveling in the country, The Sunday Times of London reporter Marie Colvin and freelance photographer Remi Ochlik were killed by Syrian military shelling in the besieged city of Homs.

“Foreign correspondents risk their lives to shine a light on the darkest corners of the world so that we may know the truth,” said Theresa Werner, president of the National Press Club.” Shadid, Colvin, and Ochlik died doing their job so that we would know the real story of the Syrian people.”

“The Club wanted to recognize the brave lives and untimely deaths of those covering the important developments in Syria, and so we took the unusual step of honoring three journalists posthumously with one award,” said John M. Donnelly, a member of the NPC board who chairs the club’s Press Freedom Committee.

The US National Press Club has also rewarded New York Times reporter James Risen in the domestic coverage category, for his gumption in reporting material the government would prefer to keep from public view.

“Right here in our own country we still have to defend a free press, as Risen continues to do by standing up to our government to protect his sources,” explained Theresa Werner.

The Aubuchon Press Freedom Award honors people whose actions embody the struggle to advance press freedom and open government. Each year, the Club selects a domestic and an international figure to receive the award. The late Aubuchon was a former Club president and an ardent advocate of press freedom.

The National Press Club Awards dinner will be held on Tuesday July 24. A reception will be held in the Holeman Lounge beginning at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m. in the ballroom.
Tickets are $50 per person. Reservations are required. To reserve your seat for this event, please call 202-662-7501. You must pay for your ticket when making your reservation. For more information, please contact Joann Booze at 202-662-7532, jbooze@press.org.

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