Freelance journalist Swati Chaturvedi has been awarded the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Award for Courage. She has won the award for her book I Am a Troll, an expose on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s IT cell. The award was presented on Thursday at the Getty Images Gallery in London’s Fitzrovia.

“Chaturvedi has been the target of vicious online harassment campaigns, like many other outspoken journalists in India,” the organisation’s statement said. “She responded by using journalistic weapons, investigating the ‘IT cell’ within the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu nationalist party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is notorious for keeping an army of angry trolls.”

“I think it is scary to be a journalist in today’s world, especially if you are doing investigative journalism. But at the same time, it is very necessary,” – Swati Chaturvedi

“I get a dozen death threats every day and around 15 to 20 rape threats,” Chaturvedi told AFP. “The whole idea of a democracy is that you are allowed to have a dissenting view. Unfortunately, the way politics has panned out across the world, journalists are really under threat. It is sad that you are called courageous just for doing your job,” she said.

She has won the award for her book I Am a Troll, an expose on the BJP’s IT cell

“I think it is scary to be a journalist in today’s world, especially if you are doing investigative journalism. But at the same time, it is very necessary,” she added.

There are three more worldwide winners of the award.

“Recognising great journalism is important, not least because it sends a message of solidarity, proving that there is an international community will stand up for the free media no matter where it is threatened, or by whom,” said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.

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