Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the crusading Russian newspaper "Novaya gazeta" has been named the winner of the International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneer Award for 2009.
In a statement, the IPI said it was recognizing "Novaya gazeta’s" focus on "in-depth reporting at a time when many of Russia’s print and broadcast media have softened their news content or have come under control of Kremlin allies."
As the IPI notes, "Novaya gazeta" has paid a high price for its independence. Four of the newspaper’s correspondents have been killed in the past decade, most recently in January
. "Novaya gazeta" journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in 2006.
The IPI says the newspaper has endured threats and government investigations while itself probing human rights abuses, corruption, and the situation in the volatile North Caucasus.
The award will be presented at the IPI World Congress in Helsinki on June 7.