Journalism that highlights abuse of human rights was recognised last night at the 19th annual Amnesty International Media Awards.
This year the special award for journalism under threat went collectively to the independent media in Burma. It was collected by Daw Nita May, who works for the BBC Burmese Service and who is herself a former Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience.
According to Amnesty, 40 journalists are among Burma’s 2,200 political prisoners.
Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: “Journalism is all too often a perilous pursuit and perceived as a threat by authorities. Independent journalism is very important for the people of Burma, both as an avenue in which to express their opinions, but also as a vital source of information. Independent news on the upcoming elections process is vital in keeping the world’s attention focused on Burma in what is going to be a critical year”
The Gaby Rado Memorial Award, made to a journalist covering human rights for less than five years, went to Somali journalist Jamal Osman, who works for Channel Four. His work included an investigation into aid stolen from Somali refugees and a piece entitled; ‘Somalia, the ‘new Pakistan’?”.
The full list of winners announced at the British Film Insitute last night were:
GABY RADO MEMORIAL AWARD: Jamal Osman, Channel 4 News
INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION & RADIO: People and Power: Ingushetia – A Second Chechnya?, Al Jazeera – Antony Butts, Dom Rotheroe, Mike Chamberlain
NATIONS & REGIONS: Discrimination: Migrant Workers Rental Block, BBC Look North – Guy Lynn, Mark Hayman, David Weller
NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS: The Dark Side of Dubai, The Independent – Johann Hari
DIGITAL MEDIA: Chinese Petitioners, Financial Times – Jamil Anderlini, Edward Cheng
PERIODICALS – CONSUMER MAGAZINES: Congo: The Horror, GQ – Ed Caesar, Susan Schulman
PERIODICALS – NEWSPAPER SUPPLEMENTS: The Return of the Bloody Diamonds, Live Magazine – Dan McDougall, Robin Hammond
PHOTOJOURNALISM: Toxic Jeans, Sunday Times – Robin Hammond
RADIO: Zimbabwe: What Mugabe Didn’t Tell Us, BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme – Mike Thomson, Edward Prendeville, Ceri Thomas
TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY & DOCUDRAMA: Burma VJ, More 4 / Magic Hour Films (JOINT WINNER) – Lise-Lense Moller, Anders Ostergaard/ Dispatches: Afghanistan’s Dirty War, Channel 4 / October Films (JOINT WINNER) – Tom Roberts, Peter Lindley, Najibullah Razaq
TELEVISION NEWS: The End of Sri Lanka’s War, Channel 4 News / ITN – Jonathan Miller, Nick Paton Walsh, Nevine Mabro, Bessie Du, Matt Jasper, Ben de Pear