"I never truckled; I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth; I knew it for the truth then, and I know it for the truth now." Frank Norris.
I'm not feeling well and don't have much to contribute today, except for this: I urge you to listen to the edition of Fresh Air that aired today. Terry Gross, arguably one of broadcasting's best interviewers has a long and informative discussion with Tom Blanton, the Director of the National Security Archive, a thorn in the side of those who think our government is best when it operates in secret. This good NSA turned twenty this year and continues to perform a valuable service.
The recipients include: Abdul Samay Hamed, an independent writer, publisher, political cartoonist, and poet from Afghanistan; Aboubakr Jamai, who publishes two of Morocco's groundbreaking weekly newspapers, Le Journal Hebdomadaire and its sister publication, Assahifa al Ousbouiya; Musa Muradov, editor-in-chief of the weekly Groznensky Rabochy, one of Chechnya's only independent publications; and Manuel Vázquez Portal, who helped establish the independent news agency Grupo de Trabajo Decoro and is serving an 18-year prison sentence in Cuba on spurious charges.
"The work of these four brave journalists is driven by their devotion to the fundamental principles of press freedom—the principle that all people have the right to seek and receive news and information," said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper in introducing the awardees.
I thought that comment was especially appropriate for Manuel Vázquez Portal, the only winner who could not attend. This comment is also on point:
Speaking in front of a photograph of Vázquez Portal, CPJ's Washington, D.C., representative Frank Smyth noted that, "There does not appear to be any particular reason why the regime targeted this journalist, except that his reporting and well written, often lyrical, opinion columns have been consistently critical of the regime."