Raymond T. Bonner of The New York Times was awarded the 1996 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
In naming Bonner, who is a correspondent based in Warsaw, the Nieman Fellows broke with the practice of honoring reporting done in the previous calendar year. The 1996 Nieman Class cited Bonner for a career of fearless and independent-minded reporting, acknowledging a body of work stretching back to the early 1980’s. In his work in Central America, the Philippines, Central Europe and Africa, Bonner has demonstrated a passionate, principled journalism.
The Nieman Fellows also made special mention of Chinese journalist Gao Yu, imprisoned by the government of China since 1993 on charges of revealing state secrets. The fellows saluted Gao Yu and her determination to pursue open journalism in the face of severe restrictions on press freedom.