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An Egyptian blogger who regularly reports stories that are not being told elsewhere and a Burmese journalist who uncovered the spread of bird flu into Burma are this year's winners of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Knight International Journalism Award.

Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the awards recognise those who raise the standards of media excellence in their countries.

Wael Abbas, the first blogger to win the award, often reports firsthand on protests, corruption and police brutality on his blog Misr Digital (Egyptian Awareness) to his own detriment; he's been arrested, interrogated and beaten for his work. But he won't give up. "The bloggers in Egypt are the last independent voice," he recently wrote. "If we are silenced, no protests will be heard in Egypt... And so the choice to blog is not only serious, but necessary." Visit:

In Burma, May Thingyan Hein's investigative reporting stands out for its coverage of controversial topics, including corruption, AIDS and poverty. As a freelance journalist for several publications, she specialises in investigative stories in a country where journalists must submit their reports in advance to officials. Her story about the spread of the bird flu into Burma forced officials to acknowledge the epidemic.

ICFJ will present the honours at its 10th annual awards dinner on 13 November in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the awards, see:

(18 September 2007)

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