Two leading women journalists to join 2021 Jury of UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

As a journalist, she created and hosted several shows including: #MeToo, Now What? on PBS (2018); The Zainab Salbi Project, original series on Huffington Post (2016); The Nidaa Show with TLC Arabic where she started with the historic first interview of Oprah Winfrey in the Arab world; and her latest Through Her Eyes with Zainab Salbi at Yahoo News. She frequently appears on MSNBC as a commentator on current news.

Zainab is also the author of several books and has been recognized as one of the most influential women in the world by several renowned international magazines. She was recently selected as a jury member of The Hilton Humanitarian Prize – the biggest award for humanitarian work throughout the world. She sits on the Board of Directors of Synergos and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).

In a time when the integrity of truth has been questioned and injured, I am honored to serve the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize that acknowledges journalists who are committed to making truth great again.

Zainab Salbi (Iraq)

Marilu Mastrogiovanni (Italia), reporter, founder and director of Il Tacco d’Italia, will serve as Chair in 2021. She is specialized in investigative reporting on the organized crime based in the South-East region of Puglia, known to be the 4th mafia in Italy. Following several threats to her life, she was given permanent police protection.

She founded the Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists and teaches “Digital Journalism and Inquiry” (Master’s in journalism) and “Media relations” (Education, Psychology and Communication Department) at the Aldo Moro University, Bari.

The proposal to hold the position of Chair of the jury of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2021 honors me as a journalist and has deeply moved me as a person. In my region, free information has always been experienced as a threat by territorial powers, politicians as well as criminals and “mafiosi”, so this responsibility may help me open an online forum for a discussion on the role of journalism as a key instrument for democracy.

Marilu Mastrogiovanni (Italia)

Other members of the Jury include: Wendy Funes (Honduras), investigative journalist, David Dembele (Mali), Editor-in-chief of the Depêche du Mali/L’Investigateur, Hamid Mir (Pakistan), Executive Editor of Geo Television Pakistan, and Alfred Lela (Albania), Political Analyst on News 24 and Founder and Director of Politiko.al.

Zainab is replacing Giselle Khoury, renowned Lebanese journalist and talk show host on BBC Arabic, who completed her mandate as a Jury member of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in which she enthusiastically and proficiently participated for the last 3 years and headed as Chair in 2020.

The Jury of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize consists of six independent members, representing all types of media including digital media, one from each of the six regions as defined by UNESCO, in other words six persons appointed in their individual capacity by the Director-General of UNESCO for a period of three years, renewable once.

Awarded annually, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) that will take place this year in Windhoek, Namibia, on 3 May 2021, the Prize is marked by a ceremony and the winner is presented with the sum of US$ 25,000.

Nominations, submitted by UNESCO Member States and international and regional NGOs active in the field of press freedom, should be submitted by filling out the form

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