Aboubakr Jamaï, co-founder and former managing director of the weekly newspaper Le Journal Hebdomadaire, was presented the 2010 Gebran Tueni Award in Beirut on April 12.

The annual prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers honours an editor or publisher from the Arab region, WAN-IFRA said in a media release.

Mr. Jamaï received it from Bengt Braun, past president and senior ambassador of WAN-IFRA, and Nayla Tueni, deputy general manager of the An Nahar daily, and daughter of assassinated publisher Gebran Tueni.

The award recognises Mr. Jamaï's struggles in pursuing independent journalism while dealing with a monarchy that, despite promises of reform, prefers to maintain control of the Moroccan media, the release said.

“Morocco is one country where there is a need for change, and where editors and publishers in the independent press have long been advocating for freedom of expression,” said Mr. Braun, presenting the award. “The man we honour here today, Aboubakr Jamaï, is a pioneer in this work, and the newspaper he founded, Journal Hebdomadaire, established a reputation for being a leading and critical voice in the Moroccan press.”

Gebran Tueni was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005. The award honours editors or publishers who demonstrate the values he held high: attachment to freedom of the press, courage, leadership, ambition, and high managerial and professional standards.

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and Darmstadt (Germany), with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is a global organisation of newspapers and publishers.

It represents 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. It was created by the merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.