LAST YEAR, as we sat in a Washington home, Zunar raised his hands to jab and stab and punctuate his every impassioned point. When a cartoonist faces a moral crisis, he told Comic Riffs, “you need to stand and fight. You need to carry the people’s voice through your cartoon.”
Today, Zunar — the nom-de-toon of Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque — is being recognized for raising a moral and unsilenced voice through his cartoons.
The Committee to Protect Journalists announces today that Zunar is among the recipients of its 2015 International Press Freedom Awards, which recognize journalists who “have endured death threats, physical attacks, legal action, imprisonment or exile in the course of their work.”
“Whether through blogs or traditional media outlets, or by drawing cartoons, they risk their personal safety and freedom to bring us the news,” Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based CPJ, said in announcing the honorees.
The other 2015 recipients are Paraguayan journalist Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, the Zone 9 bloggers of Ethiopia and the Syrian citizen-journalist collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. The Burton Benjamin Memorial Award, for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom, goes to Kathy Gannon, the veteran Associated Press special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Gannon’s “commitment to journalism has transcended personal risk and tragedy, including the loss of her colleague Anja Niedringhaus,” CPJ board chairman Sandra Mims Rowe said.) Read more