- Over 500 guests gather in central London to celebrate the best of the year’s human rights reporting
- Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste thanks journalist and human rights community for taking action to secure his release from Egyptian prison
- Tributes paid to 30 journalists around the world targeted for their work in 2015
The Sunday Times, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio and The Guardian were just some of the winners at the prestigious Amnesty International Media Awards which took place at Milton Court in central London this evening (Thurs 26 Nov).
There were wins for Christina Lamb (The Sunday Times), Jackie Long (Channel 4 News), Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey (The Guardian) and Joanna Jolly (BBC Radio).
Anders Fjellberg won the Feature category for their stunning investigation ‘The boys who could see England’, originally commissioned by Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet and re-published for a UK audience by New Statesman.
Photojournalist Tommy Trenchard, Channel 4 Dispatches and BBC Northern Ireland also walked away with the top prizes in their field.
Now in its 24th year, the Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Answers?’ presenter Anita Anand. Amnesty’s coveted awards, this year covering the period March 2014 to July 2015, recognise excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism’s significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of human rights issues.
Tribute was also paid to the courage of journalists around the world who have been killed, imprisoned or threatened because of their work this year. Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who was the subject of a mass solidarity action at last year’s Amnesty Media Awards ceremony, thanked the audience and said that without the huge support he received he might not have been released.
Peter Greste said:
“Now though, many others remain in prison not just in Egypt but around the world. I was lucky, I’m a Westerner and the spotlight on us was strong. But there are so many others…missing or rotting in jails across the world. They are the ones willing to reveal horrifying human rights abuses in their own countries and at huge risk to themselves and their families. They also need people to fight their corners and they also deserve your support. We must all continue. We must not be intimidated.”
Amnesty International UK’s director Kate Allen acknowledged the invaluable, and often dangerous, work done by journalists in exposing human rights abuses.
Kate Allen said:
“The past year has seen a clampdown on freedom of expression. Across the world, repressive legislation and intrusive surveillance, as well as more overt terror tactics, are being used systematically to shrink the space in which activists, protesters, lawyers, NGOs and journalists can operate.
“Journalists like you are the foot soldiers in the fight for freedom of speech. Without you to pick up and run with the stories that organisations like Amnesty highlight, our work would be very much harder and much less effective.”
Inside Yarl’s Wood: Britain’s most notorious detention centre (Jackie Long, Channel 4 News)
Judges: Federico Escher, John Angier, Bridget Kendall, Anna Jones
The Counted (The Guardian)
Judges: Siraj Datoo, Kevin Sutcliffe, Jacqueline Housden, Ian Dunt
The boys who could see England (Anders Fjellberg & Tomm W. Christiansen, Dagbladet/New Statesman)
Judges: David Jones, Andrea Thompson, Gary Younge, Tom Parry
Tommy Trenchard: Ebola in West Africa
Judges: Tabish Khan, Shannon Jensen, Tomasina Brittain, Mark Townsend
I’m afraid of the sea but I’ll do anything to get out (Christina Lamb, Sunday Times)
Judges: David Wastell, Robert Yates, Sarah Sands, Hannah Strange
Red River Women (BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC World Service)
Judges: Anna Doble, Paul Moss, Dotun Adebayo, Steve Bloomfield, Steve Wilson-Beales
Nations & Regions
A Woman Alone with the IRA (Spotlight, BBC Northern Ireland)
Judges: Nina Hossain, Yvette Shapiro, Beverley Rouse
Gabriella Jozwiak, Freelance
Judges: Mike Thomson, Rob Hodge, Tom Rado, Naga Munchetty
Escape from ISIS (Dispatches, Channel 4)
Judges: Naresh Puri, Eamonn Matthews, Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Rizwana Hamid, Louise Orton
Jonathan Lawrence, Child prostitution in Zarqa: a city paralysed by the mafia
Judges: Emma Graham-Harrison, Yonni Usiskin, Anant Naik