Venezuelan investigative journalist recognized with Knight International Journalism Award

Venezuelan investigative journalist Joseph Poliszuk, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Armando.info, is one of two “courageous digital news pioneers” to receive the Knight International Journalism Award.

The award, given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, “recognizes excellent journalism that has made an impact.”

Poliszuk will be honored alongside editor Maria Ressa of the Philippines at the Nov. 8 ICFJ Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

“For the first time, both Knight Awards are going to the founders of digital news sites who fearlessly pursue the truth,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan, according to the organizaton. “In the face of severe government crackdowns, they boldly persist in telling the stories that need to be told.”

Under Poliszuk, the Armando.info team produces in-depth reports on corruption in Venezuela. In 2017, they reported that a businessman linked to President Nicolás Maduro and his government has financial links with a government program to combat hunger and scarcity. The articles led to a criminal suit for continued aggravated defamation and aggravated injury (calumnia), which forced four of the journalists, including Poliszuk, to leave Venezuela due to what they say are a lack of judicial and procedural guarantees.

“Information is being criminalized,” Poliszuk said during a panel on coverage of corruption at the 2018 Ibero-American Colloquium on Digital Journalism, hosted by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Despite the legal threat, he and his team continue to investigate.

Along with Poliszuk and Ressa, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company, and Nima Elbagir, CNN correspondent, will be honored at the November awards dinner.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.