If last year is anything to go by … take a valium before heading up to the #amnestyawards … sobering stuff
And they were right: the audience saw harrowing images and heard troubling narration, as the introduction to each of the shortlisted pieces of human rights journalism, across 10 categories in digital, print and radio.
It was the BBC Radio 4 Today programme’s Justin Webb, presenting the national newspaper prize, who reminded us of the substance behind the ‘future of journalism’ conversation. Joking that he’d undergone hardship in his own reportage (sometimes they went half-an-hour without a snack on the Obama campaign trail!), he said it was testimony to the diligence of the shortlisted contenders that they had completed this journalism. They, he said, had put aside the “chatter” of the organs for which they work and “talk of paywalls” to pursue their subject matter.
It was a particularly timely day for the awards – Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen mentioned the seizure of the Gaza flotilla activists by Israel, and the media’s vital role in reporting events. A special award for journalism under threat has been given to independent media workers in Burma, to raise awareness of the plight of 2,200 political prisoners held by the ruling junta, including more than 40 journalists.
In addition to the main prizes, two young entrants were named Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year winners, in a new prize set up by Amnesty International UK in collaboration with the Guardian Learnnewsdesk. Their pieces on bullying and child detention at Yarl’s Wood can be read on the Guardian site, along with the other shortlisted entries.
I’ve link to some of the shortlisted videos shown last night. Not all content is available to watch/listen in full, but even these snippets are a reminder of the kind of content that should be protected – and prioritised – in the trade and in discussions on the future of journalism.
Gaby Rado Memorial Award
- Annie Kelly, freelance, the Observer, Look Magazine, Guardian.co.uk;
- Jamal Osman, Channel 4 News (winner);
- Seyi Rhodes, Channel 4 Unreported World.
International Television and Radio
- ‘Assignment: Dying to Give Birth’, BBC World Service, Jill McGivering, Caroline Finnigan, Bridget Harney;
- ‘People and Power: Ingushetia – A Second Chechnya?’, Al Jazeera, Antony Butts, Dom Rotheroe, Mike Chamberlain (winner);
- ‘People and Power: Interrogating a Torturer’, Al Jazeera, Rodrigo Vasquez.
Nations and Regions
- ‘Caste Out’, Coventry Telegraph, Mary Griffin;
- ‘Discrimination: Migrant Workers Rental Block’, BBC Look North, Guy Lynn, Mark Hayman, David Weller (winner);
- ‘Stolen Childhoods’, Herald Scotland, Lucy Adams, Marc Turner.
- ‘The Dark Side of Dubai’, the Independent, Johann Hari (winner);
- ‘The Hidden Massacre’, the Times, Catherine Philp;
- ‘The Truth about Torture – Britain’s Catalogue of Shame’, the Guardian, Ian Cobain.
- ‘Chinese Petitioners’, Financial Times, Jamil Anderlini, Edward Cheng (winner);
- ‘Condition: Critical’, Duckrabbit, Benjamin Chesterton, Mitch Remes, Robin Meldrum;
- Investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests, the Guardian, Paul Lewis.
Periodicals – Consumer Magazines
- ‘Congo: The Horror’, GQ, Ed Caesar, Susan Schulman (winner);
- ‘Rio’s lives of crime’, Le Monde Diplomatique UK, Raphael Gomide.
Periodicals – Newspaper Supplements
- ‘The Return of the Bloody Diamonds’, Live Magazine, Dan McDougall, Robin Hammond (winner);
- ‘Tourism is a Curse to us’, Observer Magazine, Alexander Renton, Caroline Irby.
- ‘Acid Burns Survivors Foundation’, Giles Duley;
- ‘Toxic Jeans’, Sunday Times, Robin Hammond (winner);
- ‘Zimbabwe’s Impoverished Elderly’, BBC Online, Kate Holt.
- ‘Crossing Continents: Chechnya’, BBC Radio 4, Lucy Ash, Nick Sturdee, Hugh Levinson;
- ‘Guantánamo Reunited’, BBC Radio 5 Live, Gavin Lee, Edward Main, Iain Croft;
- ‘Zimbabwe: What Mugabe Didn’t Tell Us’, BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme, Mike Thomson, Edward Prendeville, Ceri Thomas (winner) (related content here).
Television Documentary and Docudrama
- ‘Burma VJ’, More 4/Magic Hour Films, Lise-Lense Moller, Anders Ostergaard (joint winner);
- ‘Dispatches: Afghanistan’s Dirty War’, Channel 4/October Films, Tom Roberts, Peter Lindley, Najibullah Razaq (joint winner);
- ‘Dispatches: Terror in Mumbai’, Channel 4/Quicksilver Media, Dan Reid, Eamonn Matthews.
- ‘Fallujah Babies’, Sky News, Lisa Holland, Haydon Wallace, Tim Gallagher, Audrey Heaton, Dave Prime;
- ‘Mexico’s Missing Children’, Channel 4 News/ITN, Nick Martin, Guillermo Galdos, Nevine Mabro, Matthew Welham;
- ‘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 (winner).