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Maltese journalist wins press award for news website set up in wake of reporter's death

A Maltese journalist who set up an independent investigative news website in the wake of reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder has won a top press freedom prize.

Caroline Muscat, founder of The Shift News, won the Prize for Independence at this year’s Press Freedom Awards, organised by campaign group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres).

Muscat was awarded the prize for her work exposing corruption involving local politicians in Malta despite being a “repeated target of gag suits”, according to RSF, which campaigns for press freedom.

Muscat (pictured) has also co-edited of a book of essays about Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb near her home in October 2017 aged 53 after investigating money laundering and corruption in Malta.

Other winners at the 2019 Press Freedom Awards ceremony, which took place in Berlin on Thursday last week, were Saudi journalist Eman al Nafjan, who took home the Prize for Courage for her saudiwoman.me blog.

Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang picked up the Prize for Impact for her work editing an online magazine that helps Vietnamese citizens defend their rights.

Two of the press freedom prize winners were unable to collect their awards in person owing to restrictions on their freedom to travel, according to RSF.

RSF secretary General Christophe Deloire said: “These journalists, who should be honoured in their countries, are denied the freedom to travel and often their freedom, period.

“But their commitment transcends borders without the dictators being able to do anything to prevent it.”

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and Der Spiegel journalist Susanne Koelbl attended the awards, which were hosted by German TV presenter and journalist Pinar Atalay.

Picture: RSF

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