The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Monday that it has awarded 2019 International Press Freedom Award to Indian journalist Neha Dixit.
“Neha Dixit, an award-winning freelance reporter, has covered politics, gender, and social justice in print, TV, and online media for more than a decade,” the committee said in a press release. “She began her career at Tehelka magazine and then joined the special investigation team at India Today newsmagazine.”
The panel said that in 2019, Dixit spent months investigating and reporting stories about important problems, including extrajudicial killings by the police. “She also reported on the illegal detention of citizens under draconian laws that appeared to be motivated by political interests,” the press release said. “In January 2019, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sent a notice to the Indian government to express its concern about the detentions.”
Dixit told the committee that high-ranking police officers threatened her family after she wrote about extrajudicial killings. “She is frequently harassed online as a result of her reporting, especially from alleged right-wing extremists,” the panel added. “She has been threatened with physical attacks, rape, and death, and her personal information has been exposed online.” Dixit said she received up to 300 abusive messages a day.
“Dixit’s work has been published in international outlets including The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Caravan, and The Wire,” the committee said. “She has received numerous awards, including the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize in 2011, the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism in 2014, and the 2016 Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist.”