Italian journalist Paolo Borrometi was awarded the 2019 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
Borrometi is an expert on the Sicilian mafia and his courageous journalism has made him a target of multiple threats and personal attacks. He was also attacked in 2014 that caused a permanent injury to his shoulder. In the same year, a fire was set outside his home in Modica in Sicily that caused his family to flee to Rome. However, even from there, he continued to report on organized crime.
The thirty-six-year-old Borrometi worked for the Italian agency AGI before starting his own website La Spia.
“I’m afraid to die. It is true. I don’t know if I will ever have a family or whether I’ll have children,” said Borrometti, after receiving the award at the City University of New York.
“But I’ve dreamed of being a journalist and I defend that dream and I am a journalist,” he added.
What is the Peter Mackler Award?
According to the website, the Peter Mackler Award “honors reporters and editors who have demonstrated a commitment to fairness, accuracy and speaking truth to power, and a matching commitment to asserting the right to publish or air that story in countries where independent media is under threat.”
It is named after journalist Peter Mackler, who held many eminent positions across his lifetime. Among many positions, he served at the Agence France-Presse as the Chief Editor for North America, Chief Editor for Asia, director for Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, senior correspondent for Europe at various stages in his career.
Apart from being an ace journalist, he was also dedicated to teaching journalism, training journalists from the United States of America, Malaysia, and Iran among many other nations. To advance his goal of teaching journalism, he also founded the Global Media Forum, a consortium of international reporters from across the globe.
The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was instituted in 2008 by the family and friends of this great man.1