Filipino journalist Lady Ann Salem nominated for RSF Press Freedom Prize

Lady Ann Salem RSF Press Freedom Prize
Manila Today editor and Altermidya coordinator Lady Ann Salem. Altermidya photo.

Filipino journalist Lady Ann Salem has been nominated for the 2022 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Awards given to the media for outstanding and essential work in support of the freedom to inform amid pressure.

The Manila Today editor and Altermidya coordinator is among the 15 journalists and media outlets from around the world included in the RSF Awards shortlist of nominees for the 30th annual edition of the prizes that honor the work of those who embody the ideals of journalism, “paying tribute to the journalists who continue to keep us informed despite the dangers, the obstacles, and the persecution”.

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The Philippines’ Lady Ann Salem is nominated for the Independence Prize given to journalists, media, or Non-Governmental Organizations for resisting pressure to stop their work, the same award won by Inday Espina-Varona of ABS-CBN in 2018.

RSF introduces Salem in its November 10 announcement as one who “embodies journalism’s future in the Philippines, a new generation of journalists following the trail blazed by Maria Ressa”, the first Filipino Nobel Peace Prize laureate for Press Freedom and UNESCO Press Freedom Prize recipient who continues to fight pressures against her news organization, Rappler.

RSF notes how Salem was “subjected to red-tagging and was jailed in December 2020 on terrorism and ‘leftism’ charges after police planted guns in her Manila home”. Salem was released a month after February 2021 when the court ruled that her arrest was null and void. Manila Today reports that the Philippine government is seeking the reversal of the dismissal of the charges against her at the Court of Appeals.

“Despite continuing to experience threats since her release and the government’s appeal, she pursued to support Manila Today’s innovation in data presentation and engagement and continued to write on politics, human rights, and culture. She would always try to make herself available to give basic journalism skills trainings to our volunteers and interns, provide interviews and review students’ theses. Along with this, she supported the work of International Association of Women in Radio and Television and led the building of the group’s first digital safe house for women journalists, using her own experiences as a guide,” reported Manila Today on November 16.

Salem joins four other journalists and media outlets nominated for the Independence Prize including TOLOnews (Afghanistan), Omar Radi (Morocco), Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo (Liberia), and Bolot Temirov (Kyrgyzstan). Ten other journalists and media outlets were nominated for the Courage and Impact Prizes. RSF notes that the names of the 3 RSF Prizes represent the cardinal virtues that remain despite the challenges facing journalism in the digital age.

The RSF Press Freedom Awards will be given out on December 12 in Paris, France, where Russian journalist and Nobel peace laureate Dmitry Muratov is scheduled to speak.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino journalist Lady Ann Salem, nominated for the 2022 RSF Press Freedom Prize for Independence!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.