BBG Journalists Honored for Bravery, Excellence and Innovation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In 2013 the networks of the Broadcasting Board of
Governors earned high-profile awards and accolades for their innovative
use of technology, commitment to excellence and dedication to providing
quality, unbiased information to audiences around the world.
Journalists from the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia, and the
Office of Cuba Broadcasting received honors from the New York Festivals,
the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB), the Alliance for
Women in Media Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists and
many other organizations.
“Our journalists do extraordinary work every day, but it’s important
to take stock of their most outstanding achievements at the year’s end,”
said BBG Chairman Jeff Shell. “These awards confirm what we at the BBG
already know – that we’re working with some of the most courageous,
talented and dedicated journalists in the world. I am extremely proud
of what they have accomplished in 2013, and I look forward to even more
success in 2014.”
Voice of America
Voice of America’s OnTen, a satirical weekly television
program that covers and often pokes fun at Iranian officialdom, was
honored with a “Special Recognition for a Televised Series” 2013 CINE
Golden Eagle Award.
VOA reporters received three Associated Press awards at the
Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association’s annual awards banquet. VOA
correspondent Carolyn Presutti and photographer Michael Burke were
awarded the top prize for the Sports Features award for their story on
the Haitian Tarantulas, a soccer team with many players who lost limbs
in the 2010 earthquake. VOA Midwest Correspondent Kane Farabaugh
received the Outstanding Video Journalist/One-Man Band award for his
footage on the clashes in Chicago during the 2012 NATO Summit. Farabaugh
and Burke were also honored for their work on the VOA documentary A Dry Season.
A Dry Season was also named runner-up for the Star Prize in
Broadcasting by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists
Congress in Buenos Aires, placed first in the “Multimedia Production”
category at the American Agricultural Editors Association, and was
awarded the International Clarion Award by the Association of Women in
VOA’s Bill Workinger received the Dateline Award for local journalism
by the Society of Professional Journalists for his photograph of Tiger
Woods sealing his 74th all-time PGA tour victory.
Ilir Ikonomi, Team Leader of VOA’s Albanian Service, was awarded the Medal of Gratitude by Albanian President Bujar Nishani.
Steve Ember was designated a finalist in the “Best Narration”
category at the New York Festivals International Radio Awards for his
work on “The Making of a Nation,” a weekly VOA Learning English series
of highly produced, 15-minute audio documentaries that teach American
history through narration, music, news actuality, and interview clips.
VOA correspondents Jerome Socolovsky and Michael O’Sullivan won
awards at the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) annual ceremony.
Socolovsky’s video report “Churches Take up Fight for Stressed Parents,”
placed first in the RNA Television “National Network/Cable News
Religion Report of the Year” category. O’Sullivan won third place for
his story “California Group Helps Young Muslims, Jews Find Common
Voice of America received five nominations in the 2013 AIB Awards. Coney Island Rebirth was nominated in the “Short Report or Documentary/TV” category; from the VOA Persian Service, OnTen’s
Iranian Election Special was a finalist in the “Specialist Genre
Program or Series” category; and for best international radio
personality, Paul Westpheling of VOA’s International Edition and Steve
Ember of VOA Learning English were finalists. VOA also received a
nomination in the “Production Technology” category for VOA Khmer
Service’s iPhone interview with Oun Phea.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Journalists working across the regions covered by RFE/RL have won
accolades for their work in investigative reporting and multimedia
RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service correspondents Khadija Ismayilova and
Nushabe Fatullayeva won a 2013 Global Shining Light Award for
discovering that members of Azerbaijan’s first family hold sizable
stakes in a new gold and silver mine that has blocked villagers’ access
to land and water.
Radio Farda’s Vahid Pourostad was a Silver Radio Winner at the 2013
New York Festivals International Radio Programs and Promos Awards for
his radio documentary, Solitary Confinement. The 18-part series
was honored in the category of “Best Investigative Report” for its
unflinching account of the horrors faced by Iranian activists,
journalists and intellectuals imprisoned in the country’s most unseen
and unspeakable places.
In the 2013 AIB Awards, RFE/RL received a Highly Commended nod for its investigative radio documentary Victims of 88 (AKA 2009) and its short feature At Afghan Brickworks, Family Trapped in Cycle of Debt.
This report also received a Bronze Award for “Internet Video
Documentary” in October from The Lovie Awards, which recognizes “the
most resonant and pertinent stories in Europe,” and was cited as an
Official Honoree at the 2013 Webby Awards in the “News & Politics:
Individual Episode” category.
RFE/RL correspondent Olesya Vartanyan was awarded a “Special Prize
for Peace Journalism” by the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia
and the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM). Radio Free Afghanistan received a
letter of appreciation for its promotion of human rights from the
country’s Independent Human Rights Commission. RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service
correspondent and Azattyk+ television show presenter Eliza
Kenenbaeva was named Kyrgyzstan’s best TV moderator for 2013 in an
online survey of the readers of Super-Info, the country’s most popular
newspaper. For the second year in a row, RFE/RL was named an “Official
Honoree” in the Radio & Podcasts category at the 2013 Webby Awards
for outstanding achievement in new media and creative technology.
Middle East Broadcasting Networks
Alhurra Television was named a finalist for two awards in the New
York Festivals International Television & Film Awards – for Best
News Correspondent/Reporter and Best Station/Image Promotion. MBN’s Afia Darfur report
“The Perils of Prosecutors in Darfur” was named a finalist in the “Best
Coverage of an Ongoing News Story” category in the International Radio
Program Competition. Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi was nominated
for Best News Correspondent/Reporter for his outstanding coverage of the
Fahmi has worked for the network since 2004 and has filed high
quality reports from Syria. In August 2012, Fahmi was reporting from
Aleppo when he was caught in the crossfire that led to the murder of one
journalist and capture and subsequent release of another. No one has
heard from him since.
Alhurra was also recognized for its excellence in promotions
production. In the 2013 PromaxBDA Arabia Awards, Alhurra TV won the Gold
Award for Best News or Factual Programming Promo for Alhurra-Iraq’s Final Edition promo. Final Edition
also won a Bronze Award for best use of English typography. Alhurra won
a Silver Award in the “Something for Nothing” category for its Radio
Sawa promo and a Bronze Award in the “Something for Nothing” category
for its Ramadan greetings promo. Alhurra was also a finalist for the
PromaxBDA Global Excellence Award for its promo marking the second
anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution.
Pan Arab Web Awards Academy gave Radio Sawa the Facebook Interactive
Award for its interactivity with the audience, rich content, easy to
navigate design and the number of “likes.” BassAwards 2013 awarded
Alhurra Television the Bronze Award for the on-air promotion of Alhurra
Files in the Best Program Branding Design category.
The Middle East Broadcasting Networks also garnered three nominations in the 2013 AIB Awards. The Afia Darfur episode on Darfurian refugees was nominated in the “Live Radio Journalism” category. Alhurra TV’s Rayheen Ala Fain? (Where Are We Going?) was a finalist in the “Specialist Genre Program or Series” category and Street Pulse’s episode on child labor was nominated for “Middle East TV Documentary.”
Radio Free Asia
Innovative use of technology and high quality journalism earned Radio
Free Asia (RFA) several high profile awards in 2013. The network’s
e-book on the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989, produced with the
assistance of the BBG’s Office of Digital and Design Innovation, won the
top award for innovative production technology at this year’s AIB
International Media Excellence Awards.
Two RFA reporters were named winners of silver and bronze medals at
this year’s New York Festivals radio awards ceremony. RFA’s Uyghur
Service reporter Shohret Hoshur won silver in the international
contest’s category of “Best Coverage of an Ongoing News Story” for his
investigation into the enforced disappearance of Uyghurs after deadly
ethnic unrest in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in July 2009.
RFA Korean reporter Jinkuk Kim took bronze in the category of “Best
Human Interest Story” for his piece on the mixed emotions of North
Korean refugees who watched the U.S.-North Korea women’s soccer match in
the 2012 London Olympics.
RFA also won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Reporting Hard
News” category for its report, “Billionaire Flees China’s Modern Day
Red Terror,” produced by RFA’s Cantonese Service. The piece consists of
an on-camera interview with former Chinese real-estate mogul Li Jun, who
fled China in 2010. He was one of the highest-profile victims of the
anti-mob and corruption campaign orchestrated by disgraced Chongqing
politician and former Politburo member Bo Xilai and ex-police chief Wang
Lijun. The award is sponsored by the Radio Television Digital News
RFA also won a prestigious Gracie Award for its Cantonese language
entry “Kidnapped Woman Reunites with Family” in the international
contest’s category of “Outstanding Investigative Program or Feature.”
The annual Gracie Awards recognize programming created by women and
focused on issues relating to women. They are sponsored by the Alliance
for Women in Media Foundation.
Office of Cuba Broadcasting
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting’s TV Martí was nominated for three Suncoast Emmy awards in 2013 for its special programs La Nueva Cuba de Las Damas de Blanco (The New Cuba of the Ladies in White), La Caridad Nos Une (The Virgin Unites Us) and Sueno Olimpico (Olympic Dream).