LONDON, ON, July 30, 2019 /CNW/ - A Canadian freelance journalist and author based in Mexico has become the fifth winner of the annual Portenier Human Rights Bursary, the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma announced today. The $3,000 award provides hostile environment safety training designed for journalists who cover armed conflict and other crisis situations.
Dawn Marie Paley, based in Puebla, Mexico, was chosen for the award by an international jury from among applications received from journalists and documentary-makers in 17 countries. She is writing a book, under contract to Verso Books New York, on social issues and human rights concerns facing Mexico in the first year of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's tenure.
For an earlier book, Drug War Capitalism, she gathered information on the ground in Columbia, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico over four years. Her freelance journalism from Central and South America, South Africa, Europe and elsewhere has appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and The Nation, and she has also reported for radio, including CBC. After taking time to complete a PhD at a Mexican university, she returned to freelance journalism with an article in The Nation in January this year.
Describing her latest project, Ms. Paley wrote: "In this book, we'll accompany activists working towards the cleanup of the noxious Lerma-Chapala-Santiago River system, which begins near Mexico City and is infused with human and industrial waste as it travels through five states before reaching the Pacific Ocean. We'll travel to rural areas on the coast and on the US-Mexico border to document struggles in defense of the land led by Indigenous communities and communal landowners. We'll march alongside union and peasant organizations fighting financialization, odious debt and precarity. We'll profile the brave women organizing for reproductive rights and against all violence. We'll walk with collectives of victims, made up mostly of women, who are searching for the remains of the disappeared in Coahuila and Tamaulipas, and report from the barricades erected by self-defense groups in the states of Morelos, Michoacán and Guerrero."
The Portenier bursary is sponsored by Giselle Portenier, a Forum board member and internationally-renowned producer of documentaries exposing human rights abuses. The competition is organized in cooperation with the UK-based Rory Peck Trust, which provides hostile environment training bursaries and other assistance to freelancers around the world.
When the bursary competition was established in 2015, Ms. Portenier said: "Human rights abuses continue unabated in the 21st century, and human rights defenders worldwide need the support of journalists and documentarians to help them shine a light on these injustices. Some of the worst abuses are committed against women and children, sometimes as a result of war, but often systematically, in the name of culture and religion.
"The purpose of this bursary is to help ensure the safety of journalists and documentary filmmakers as they expose some of the most egregious abuses of human rights in the world today."
Previous Portenier winners include a reporter from Benin investigating modern-day slavery in Mauritania, two Canadian documentarists working in Brazil and Nigeria and an Egyptian photojournalist whose work documents sexual harassment and attacks against women in her country.
Giselle Portenier's latest film, In The Name Of Your Daughter, is a documentary that gives a voice to some of the most courageous girls in the world: Tanzanian children who risk their lives to stand up for their human rights and avoid female genital mutilation and child marriage.
The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma is a charity whose work to further the physical and emotional care of journalists is supported by The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Radio-Canada, Cision and by individual donors.
In addition to the Portenier Human Rights Bursary, the Forum Freelance Fund runs annual safety training bursary contests for freelance journalists covering news in dangerous places, including combat zones. Three winners of those bursaries for 2019 were announced in May.
Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.
SOURCE Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma
For further information: See the Forum's website http://www.journalismforum.ca or contact Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer, Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, 1-519 852-4946, mailto:[email protected]