Ethiopian journalist Dawit Kebede, Founder and Managing Editor of Awramba Times, was one of four journalists who were honored at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 20th Annual International Press Freedom Awards benefit dinner on the evening of Tuesday, November 23rd at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Dawit Kebede was one of the first journalists to be jailed for reporting on the violence following Ethiopia’s 2005 national elections. He was released two years later by presidential pardon. He continues to live and work in Addis Ababa where he publishes one of the few independent Amharic newspapers in the country.
The CPJ event, which attracted nearly 1000 guests, also paid tribute to award winners Nadira Isayeva of Russia, Laureano Márquez of Venezuela and Mohammad Davari of Iran (Davari did not attend the ceremony because he remains imprisoned in Iran).
The awards dinner raised a record of nearly $1.5 million for CPJ. It was chaired by Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and President of Sony Corporation, and hosted by former “NBC Nightly News” Anchor Tom Brokaw. The award presenters included Christiane Amanpour, Host of ABC News’ “This Week,” Victor Navasky, Chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review, and Robert Thomson, Editor-in-Chief of Dow Jones & Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal.