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Journalist Stephanie Nolen wins PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize

(PEN Canada/IFEX) - The following is a 26 October 2007 PEN Canada press release:

Journalist Stephanie Nolen wins PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize

Toronto, October 26, 2007 - PEN Canada is pleased to announce that Globe and Mail journalist Stephanie Nolen is this year's winner of the PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize.

The award recognizes writers and journalists who have displayed exceptional courage and integrity in the interest of freedom of expression. The winner must have met at least two of the following criteria: made a significant impact through writing or broadcasting; demonstrated through work a willingness to put his/her career on the line in the tenacious pursuit of a story; and displayed courage and taken an independent viewpoint.

In the words of the jury's citation: "There are many kinds of courage: physical bravery; adherence to principle; speaking unpopular truth to despotic power. The courage we recognize by awarding the Paul Kidd Courage Prize to Stephanie Nolen is a different kind of courage altogether.

"Although she has often put her personal security on the line in pursuit of a story, it is her emotional courage that stands out. By staking out the HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa as her beat, Nolen has put herself in the midst of unspeakable human tragedy, day after day, month after month, and year after year. By simply refusing to look away, she has forced us all to share the horror of her own experiences.

"In addition, by tracing the links between the HIV/AIDS crisis and political corruption, poverty, racism and international indifference, she has challenged those in power to act, and ensured that the story does not die."

Nolen is the author of three books, including 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa. Through anecdotal stories - one for each million of the 28 million people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa today - Nolen explores the effects of the epidemic on the lives of women and men who are fighting on the frontlines of disease. She is the winner of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 Amnesty International Award for Human Rights Reporting for her reports from Uganda and Sudan, and the Markwell Award of the International Society of Political Psychology. She has also received six nominations for Canada's National Newspaper Award, and received back-to-back wins for the International Reporting Award. Most recently she was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award for 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa.

More about the PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize

The award is named after Paul Kidd, who died in 2002 after a career as one of Canada's first globe-trotting foreign correspondents. He reported from more than 70 countries, braving street violence, gunfire, arrest and threats from political regimes infuriated by his insistence on getting and reporting the truth. The prize is administered by PEN Canada. Eligible nominees are Canadian authors, journalists, photo-journalists, newspapers editors or publishers who freelance or are employees of a Canadian publishing company, newspaper, magazine or broadcast outlet.

About PEN Canada

PEN Canada is a centre of International PEN that campaigns on behalf of writers around the world persecuted for the expression of their thoughts. In Canada, it supports the right to free expression as enshrined in Section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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