Monday 30-11-2015 - 12:21
Over 500 of the UK’s top journalists and human rights activists gathered at The Barbican on Thursday 26 November to celebrate the best of the year’s human rights reporting.
Now in its 24th year, the Media Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Answers?’ presenter Anita Anand. Amnesty International’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.
As well as celebrating the work of established professionals, the Awards also recognise the next generation of writers and broadcasters in the form of the Student Award, which this year was picked up by Oxford University’s Jonathan Lawrence.
Writing as ‘James Tailor’, Jonathan Lawrance spent time talking to boys in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, exposing what appeared to be wide spread exploitation by older men seeking out young male prostitutes. His report raises questions not only about the recruitment and trade in these boys, but the wider consequences for the spread of AIDs throughout the region. You can read his article, ‘Child prostitution in Zarqa: a city paralysed by the mafia’, in full here.
Elsewhere on the night, The Sunday Times, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio and The Guardian were just some of the winners at the prestigious Awards, which took place at the Barbican’s Milton Court in central London.
Amnesty International UK’s director Kate Allen acknowledged the invaluable, and often dangerous, work done by journalists in exposing human rights abuses: “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.”
Media Award Winners:
‘Inside Yarl’s Wood: Britain’s most notorious detention centre’ (Jackie Long, Channel 4 News)
‘The Counted’ (The Guardian)
‘The boys who could see England’ (Anders Fjellberg & Tomm W. Christiansen, Dagbladet/New Statesman)
‘Ebola in West Africa’ (Tommy Trenchard)
‘I'm afraid of the sea but I'll do anything to get out’ (Christina Lamb, Sunday Times)
‘Red River Women’ (BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC World Service)
Nations & Regions
‘A Woman Alone with the IRA’ (Spotlight, BBC Northern Ireland)
Gabriella Jozwiak, Freelance
‘Escape from ISIS’ (Dispatches, Channel 4)
‘Child prostitution in Zarqa: a city paralysed by the mafia’ (Jonathan Lawrence)