National Press Club Announces 2021 Aubuchon Press Freedom Award Honorees

August 30th, 2021  •  Author:   The National Press Club  •  3 minute read
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WASHINGTONAug. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The National Press Club today announced honorees of the 2021 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, an honor which recognizes one international journalist and one domestic journalist who bravely push to disclose the truth in trying circumstances.

The 2021 Aubuchon honorees are Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen, who has been detained in Beijing while working for Bloomberg, and Danny Fenster, managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, who has been jailed in Myanmar since May 24.

Fan had been covering global business as a news assistant when she was detained in December 2020 by the Beijing National Security Bureau on unfounded allegations of engaging in criminal activities that jeopardized national security. Her case, which remains under investigation, comes as dozens of foreign journalists have been forced to flee amid increased hostilities between China and international media outlets.

Fenster, meanwhile, was taken into custody at Yangon International Airport as he was on his way home to Detroit, Michigan to see family. He was charged with incitement in connection with a previous employer, Myanmar Now, which had its license revoked by a Myanmar government intent on silencing news outlets. Fenster had resigned from Myanmar Now 10 months prior to his arrest. He remains in Insein Prison until his trial. During a video hearing he told his lawyer he had become infected with the coronavirus while in detainment and was denied medicine.

“We admire the resilience of these two honorees, both of whom have been unjustly detained,” said National Press Club President Lisa Nicole Matthews. “They exemplify the importance of reporting hard truths and perseverance even in dangerous conditions. We will continue to advocate for their freedom and for their work as part of the press corps.”

The John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award is named for a former Club president who fervently advocated for press freedom.

The National Press Club will confer the 2021 Aubuchon awards along with the Neil and Susan Sheehan award for investigative journalism during its annual Fourth Estate Award Gala honoring NBC News’ Lester Holt on Oct. 20 in Washington, D.C.

The gala dinner is a fundraiser for the Club’s nonprofit affiliate, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which advocates for press freedom worldwide, equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement, and provides scholarships to aspiring journalists. Tickets and more information for the event can be found here.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

CONTACT: Kaitlyn Cotter for the National Press Club, 202-662-7511, [email protected].

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