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RIA Scandal Secret Recordings
RIA Scandal Secret Recordings
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|FrontPageAfrica’s Editor Wade Williams Among Winners of German Dev. Award||| Print ||
|Written by FPA Staff Report|
|Friday, 16 August 2013 23:44|
Berlin, Germany -The German Development Media awards on Wednesday August 14, 2013 honored several journalists from around the world for their dedication to independent journalism.
FrontPageAfrica’s head of newsroom and New Narratives Fellow Wade C.L. Williams was Africa’s only journalist to receive the award. Wade Williams and other journalists were honored for their work on human rights topics.
The award which is normally given to German journalists for outstanding reporting on human rights issues, was for the first time also open to journalists outside Germany.
Organizers of the ceremony held in Berlin noted that human rights need support worldwide and that wherever human rights are being threatened or violated, people must stand up and defend those rights.
The German Development Media Awards 2013 were presented to journalists in honor of their work on human rights topics in a ceremony at the Berlin studios of the ARD (Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations in Germany).
The awards have recognized journalists for outstanding contributions in the field of human rights and development ever since its launch in 1975. For the first time this year, the awards, which are jointly presented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Deutsche Welle (DW), were also open to journalists outside Germany. Seven awards were presented at the ceremony, including awards in six regions as well as the People's Choice Award for Human Rights Photography in Africa.
Niebel said the awards honor people who refuse to give up their right to free expression: "It honors journalists who bravely report about the development of their countries and especially about the human rights situation there - and who do so in extremely difficult conditions." Niebel added the awards recognise those who "dedicate themselves to human rights with courage, creativity and passion."
The Latin America category was awarded to a multimedia project investigating the fate of disappeared people in Colombia.
In addition to the journalistic achievement of the three winners: Olga Lozano, Juanita León and Marcela Peláez, the jury emphasized the almost artistic way the topic was presented.
This entry "fully took advantage of the journalistic possibilities the Internet has to offer," said Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director of the German Institute of Human Rights, and member of the awards jury.
The entry of the German award winner, Uwe H. Martin, also won praise from the jury for its innovative approach.
Martin's multimedia feature was published on an iPad application and investigates global cotton production and how it ruins the life of many farmers.
VolhaMalafeyechava from Belarus told the story of a homosexual, in a country where homophobia is widespread and where journalists work under extreme personal pressure. And, HananKhandagji dedicated her work to abuse in centers for disabled children and teenagers in her native Jordan, all the while clearly indicating who is responsible for those conditions.
Gunjan Sharma from India, the winner in the regional category Asia and Wade C.L. Williams from Liberia, the winner in the regional category Africa, were primarily praised for the their journalistic achievement in striking a balance between personal empathy and clear, analytical distance. When asked how she perceives her role as a journalist, Williams said: "As a journalist you have a pen: a pen that can give a voice to those who need one."
Williams who happens to be Liberia’s top journalist after winning the Press Union of Liberia Journalist of the Year 2013, told the audience about the challenges of being a journalist in Liberia.
She recounted the current hurdles faced by her newspaper FrontPageAfrica which is under threat of a shutdown after a Supreme Court ruling slammed the paper with a 1.5million verdict in favor of a former official of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration.
Williams said she wants to see condition for journalist improve on the continent and in Liberia to allow them to practice freely without being threatened. The winner of the People's Choice Award for Human Rights Photography in Africa was determined by an online vote and was presented to Nigerian photographer Oluyinka Ezekiel Adeparusi. His photograph shows children on their way to school in a boat in the floating slum of Makoko, in Lagos. It is entitled: “Where there is will, there is education.”