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Underground network of Syrian citizen journalists among winners at One World Media Awards

By Freddy Mayhew

Journalists reporting on the developing world have been recognised at the One World Media Awards, where winners included an underground network of Syrian citizen journalists.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) picked up the Special Award for its attempts to expose the atrocities being carried out by extremist terror group Islamic State, also known as Daesh.

Award organisers One World Media said the group charted impact of the rise of IS, using its website and social media profiles to report, at great personal risk, on life for ordinary Syrians living under the brutal regime.

Other winners at the awards, hosted at BAFTA yesterday, included reporter Alex Crawford who received the News Award for joining Syrian refugees on a boat trip to Europe.

The Sky News special correspondent was recognised for her “very personal coverage” of the journey that has claimed hundreds of lives in From Syria to Safety.

ITV documentary Vicky’s Story received the Women’s Rights in Africa Award for profiling one woman’s death at the hands of her husband in South Africa and exposing the “routine” nature of domestic abuse in the country.

Clothilde Redfern, director of One World Media, said: “The awards entries each year are in many cases a reflection of the global news agenda. Many people think of the developing world only in terms of disasters, emergencies and, in the case of the past year, terrorism.

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“But the beauty of the awards is that we see another side to developing countries around the world, with some amazing and inspiring stories of bravery, hope and a commitment to revealing the truth behind the facades we often see.”

Danish journalist Sune Engel Rasmussen picked up the New Voice Award for his reports on Afghanistan, where he has lived in Kabul since 2014. Prior to that Rasmussen, 31, spent time in Iran reporting on the country’s politics.

He has worked as a commentator for HuffPOst Live, Sky News, BBC Persian and Danish programmes including Deadline and 24/7 on Afghanistan and Iraq as well as writing on a variety of issues including poaching in Zimbabwe.

The Television Documentary Award went to Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola on BBC Two/This World and the Feature Documentary Award went to Tell Spring Not To Come This Year, directed by Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy.

Winner of the Short Film Award was El Salvador: “I had a miscarriage. The judge accused me of murder” which highlights the plight of El Salvador’s young women who fall foul of the country’s punitive anti-abortion law after suffering a miscarriage and are either serving time or have completed a prison sentence.

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