Rukmini Callimachi Wins 2016 ICFJ Integrity in Journalism Award

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Callimachi Singled Out for Her Exemplary Dedication to Exposing Global Atrocities

YEREVAN—The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), in partnership with the Aurora Prize, has named Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times as the inaugural recipient of its Integrity in Journalism Award. She will receive the award for her exceptional contribution to exposing crimes against humanity during the inaugural ceremony of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity on April 24 in Yerevan.

Rukmini Callimachi (Photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell)

The ICFJ Integrity in Journalism Award celebrates the courage, commitment, and impact of a reporter on the front lines of the world’s crisis zones. Recipients demonstrate unrivaled courage in covering the plight of imperiled communities and an unwavering commitment to integrity, freedom, and justice.

“Callimachi’s reporting is a shining example of the power of journalism to bring to the world’s attention to unthinkable abuses,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. “Her work provides hope that the victims will be heard and protected.”

Callimachi has exposed the horrific institutionalization of sex slavery by ISIS, linked child labor in gold mines in Senegal to banks in Switzerland, and revealed massacres committed by government forces from the Ivory Coast to Mali. At a time when risks to journalists are at an all-time high, Callimachi is driven by a deep-seated motivation to tell these stories.

“As a journalist, I don’t think that you ever make a concerted decision to put yourself at risk; you are doing your job,” Callimachi said. “The reward is that journalism is like a flashlight, which beams a pool of light on an issue, a crime, a government abuse or another atrocity. I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award and I hope that in some small way, my work can illuminate the darkest corners of the world.”

The Integrity in Journalism Award arose from a partnership between ICFJ and 100 LIVES, a pioneering global initiative rooted in the Armenian Genocide that seeks to share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, as well as celebrate the strength of the human spirit. 100 LIVES and the Aurora Prize were established to express gratitude to those who put themselves at risk to save Armenians from the genocide one hundred years ago.

“Journalism is one of the strongest tools to illuminate and alleviate human suffering,” said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES and the Aurora Prize. “Ms. Callimachi’s commitment to exposing the atrocious crimes against humanity is truly exemplary. We are proud to be able to honor journalists whose sustained commitment and coverage inspire others to act and intervene.”

100 LIVES is a new global initiative rooted in the events of the Armenian Genocide, during which hundreds of thousands of Armenians were saved by the courageous and heroic acts of individuals and institutions. A century later, 100 LIVES seeks to express gratitude, to share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, and to celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

100 LIVES is an initiative of the IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia), a charitable foundation committed to promoting socioeconomic development in Armenia through investments in long-term, non-profit projects.

Recipients of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will be recognized for the exceptional impact their actions have made on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored each year with a U.S. $100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a U.S. $1,000,000 award.

The Aurora Prize Selection Committee includes Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.

The Aurora Prize will be awarded annually on April 24 in Yerevan, Armenia.

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Source: Armenian Weekly
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