The Irrawaddy Editor Wins Award
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Monday, August 08, 2022


The Irrawaddy Editor Wins Award


Aung Zaw, founder and editor of The Irrawaddy. (Photo: Min Oo / The Irrawaddy)

The founder and editor of The Irrawaddy magazine, Aung Zaw, has been awarded the 2010 Prince Claus Fund award for journalism along with two journalists from Iran and Cuba.

“Aung Zaw is honored for his active dedication to achieving democratic government in Burma,” said the organization. “For building such a valuable resource for exposing realities that those in power want to hide, for maintaining the flow of ideas and upholding freedom of information, and for his inspiring role in transgressing the containment of violently enforced political boundaries.”

Aung Zaw, 42, who was born in Rangoon and has lived in exile since 1988, said he was honored to learn the news and feels humble to be selected as one of the laureates.

“I share this award with the many courageous journalists inside Burma— they have been taking greater risks in telling the world the truth about what’s happening inside military-ruled Burma. They are journalists, editors, bloggers, as well as citizen journalists and true heroes of Burma. Many of them are in prison. I truly admire them.”

He added: “I wish to share the prize with my colleagues at The Irrawaddy, many of whom work inside Burma, and with the many exiled Burmese and friends of Burma, such as Sam Kalayanee [an independent Thai filmmaker who died recently in Chiang Mai].”

Inaugurated in 1996, the Prince Claus Fund was named in honor of Prince Claus of The Netherlands. The Fund has presented the international Prince Claus awards annually since 1997 to honor individuals and organizations reflecting a progressive and contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development. Recipients are mainly located in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, the theme of the award changes every year. The theme of the 2010 award is “Frontiers of Reality,” and the fund said it had considered individuals and organizations whose exceptional performance not only challenges and changes the boundaries of reality, but who, in doing so, contribute to the development of society.

The awards honor outstanding work in journalism, visual arts, film/photography, literature and architecture. The principal award winner for 2010, Algerian publisher Barzakh Editions, receives € 100,000, which will be presented at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in December while 10 other laureates, including Aung Zaw, will each received €25,000, to be presented by the Dutch ambassadors in their respective residential countries.

The fund said in its statement on Monday that in 1993, Aung Zaw launched The Irrawaddy, the first independent publication on Burma and the most significant resource for up-to-date news on the political situation. Although Aung Zaw is a former activist and political detainee, he remains unaffiliated with any political group and has recently expanded The Irrawaddy’s coverage to related regional developments.

“As a founder of the magazine, I believe that the facts we have reported in The Irrawaddy in the past 17 years have been subversive,” said Aung Zaw. “Our journey to document and expose the truth will continue.”

Beside Aung Zaw, Iranian independent filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei, 41, and Yoani Sánchez, 35, are the other laureates of the 2010 Prince Claus Awards in journalism. The Dutch fund said Oskouei “penetrates subaltern segments of Iranian Society to give voice to unknown perspectives, challenge preconceptions and offer unique readings of people’s lives and experiences” while Sánchez is described as “a leading figure in the use of social networking technologies to breach imposed frontiers.”

The Irrawaddy editor becomes the second Burmese recipient of a Prince Claus award after the late poet Tin Moe (1933-2007), who was honored in 2004. Tin Moe was named for “his outstanding literary achievements and for his role in sustaining culture as a source of strength, inspiration and identity,” said the fund.

Aung Zaw said that he intends to use the proceeds from his award to establish an annual Irrawaddy Journalism Award.

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NL Wrote:
Congratulations Ko Aung Zaw, keep up your spirit!

Charlotte Wrote:
Well done to Aung Saw and the whole team at the Irrawaddy, you're providing a fantastic service for Burma inside and out! Thank you :-)

[Thank you. Ed]

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