Nawaat Played a Crucial Role in Tunisia

by Silvia Duarte    /  March 15, 2011  / No comments



On the eve of the World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, Reporters Without Borders awarded its 2011 Netizen Prize to the founders of a Tunisian blogging group named Nawaat.

Reporters without Borders, with Google’s support, launched the Netizen prize in 2010 to acknowledge bloggers, online journalists or cyber-dissidents who have helped to promote freedom of expression on the Internet. The winner receives 2,500 euros in prize money.

Nawaat won against finalists from Bahrain, Belarus, Thailand, China and Vietnam. An independent jury of press specialists determined the winner.

Created in 2004, Nawaat.org is an independent collective blog operated by Tunisian bloggers as a platform for all “committed citizens.” It played a crucial role in covering the social and political unrest in Tunisia that began on December 17.

The site recently created a special page for the WikiLeaks revelations about Tunisia, and another one about the recent events in Sidi Bouzid, which were not covered in the traditional media. It also warns Internet users about the dangers of being identified online and offers advice about circumventing censorship.

“We are deeply honored by this prize. It will help to strengthen the citizen journalism that we have been practicing for years at Nawaat, despite all the risks involved”, said Nawaat’s co-founder, Riadh Guerfali at a ceremony in Paris “This award is not only a tribute to Nawaat but to all our fellow journalists who often risk their lives to keep working in countries where freedom of expression is suppressed.”

Read more about Nawaat and the Netizen prize

About the Author

Silvia Duarte is the managing editor of Sampsonia Way. She received her degree in Communication Sciences from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala and her masters in Latin American studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. Duarte was editor of El Periódico de Guatemala’s Sunday magazine from 2001 to 2006 and has written scholarly and journalistic articles in Germany, Spain, and the United States. She came to Pittsburgh in 2007 with her partner writer-in-exile Horacio Castellanos.

View all articles by Silvia Duarte

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