Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi on Thursday won the Press Freedom Award for Courage, given annually by Reporters without Borders. The freelance reporter won the award for her book I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Digital Army.
The organisation said Chaturvedi “has been subjected to virulent online harassment for investigating the ‘IT cell’ within the Bharatiya Janata Party, that is notorious for keeping an army of angry trolls”.
The award was presented at the Getty Images Gallery in London’s Fitzrovia. Matthew Caruana Galizia from Malta bagged the prize for “impact” for tracking down his mother Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killers. His mother was assassinated in 2017 following her investigations into corruption.
Inday Espina-Varona from the Philippines won the prize for “independence” for her reportage on sensitive matters and leading the #BabaeAko campaign, the Filipino equivalent of the #MeToo movement, in President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
The Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr won the “L’esprit de RSF” prize, which was set aside for the United Kingdom media to mark London’s hosting of the ceremony. Cadwalladr was selected for her “investigations into the subversion of democratic processes in the United States and United Kingdom, which exposed the role of Cambridge Analytica in the President Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns.”
Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of the organisation, said, “We hope that this recognition will offer them vital support and protection as they carry on their important work in the face of growing pressure against independent media in their home countries.”