Journalists win awards for human rights

30 January 2006

BRASILIA, Brazil — Six prominent Brazilian journalists and three media organizations received "world citizenship awards" at a Baha'i-sponsored event here.

The awards for media coverage promoting human rights were presented at a ceremony at the Ministry of Justice in the federal capital on 13 December 2005.

Baha'i spokesman,Washington Araujo said the jury selected the award winners from among hundreds of candidates.

The purpose of this year's theme was to acknowledge the media that paid close attention to vulnerable sectors of society and who highlighted the challenges facing civil society, said Mr. Araujo.

Among those attending the ceremony were representatives of the Brazilian National Federation of Journalists, the Brazilian Press Association, the Ambassadors of Guyana, Israel, and the Philippines, members of civil society organizations, and representatives of the Baha'i community of Brazil.

In his acceptance speech, award recipient Marcelo Canellas of TV Globa, Brazil's biggest broadcaster, said that receiving the award reinforced for him the importance of the humane side of journalism

"It confirms for me that journalism is a vocation," Mr. Canellas said.

Another award winner, Gilberto Dimenstein, a columnist for the newspaper "Folha de Sao Paulo," said that the award showed that the media's role is much more than just reporting bad news.

The president of the Brazilian government news agency, Radiobras, said in his acceptance speech that the media should deliver to the public information that will help to create solutions that have yet to be imagined.

The nine-person jury comprised representatives of human rights and legal groups and two members of the Baha'i community of Brazil.

The winners were presented with a sculpture created by Yone Di Alerigi.

The journalists who won the awards were Angela Bastos of the newspaper "Diario Catarinense"; Eugenio Bucci, present of Radiobras, the Brazilian government news agency; Marcelo Canellas of TV Globa, Brazil; Gilberto Dimenstein, columnist for the newspaper "Folha de Sao Paulo"; Alberto Dines, director and newscaster of the "Press Observatory," an organization that discusses the role of the media in Brazil; and Ziraldo, a cartoonist and writer.

The media organizations to win the awards were "Educativa de Sao Paulo," a State educational television channel; "Rede de Direitos Humanos e Cultura - DHNet," a Web site portal for human rights organizations; and "Viracao," a Brazilian magazine produced by young people.

The Brazilian Baha'i community instituted the world citizenship awards in 1994.