Lindsey Hilsum bags Journalist of the Year at One World Media Awards

Lindsey Hilsum has been named Journalist of the Year at the One World Media Awards 2011. Channel 4 News’ International Editor, Hilsum beat off stiff competition in an all-female line up to scoop the coveted gong at the prestigious awards ceremony in London on 10 May.

The unanimous choice of the judges, they described Hilsum’s reportage from Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Congo as “story-telling at its best… This was a master class in challenging and provocative journalism. Her stories gave voice to the vulnerable and exposed the harm that comes from political spin and official corruption. Her work
reinforces the notion of journalism as a force for progressive change.” The Journalist of the Year award was sponsored by Concern Worldwide UK.

The One World Media Awards recognise excellence in media coverage of the developing world. The ceremony was hosted by Jon Snow, with guest speaker Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for International Development, and attended by key figures from the media industry, government, and development NGOs. The Awards will be
broadcast to a global audience on BBC World News on 14 and 15 May (times below).

Marion Bowman, Director, One World Media, said: “In a year like this, it’s great to recognise the outstanding work that so many journalists, filmmakers and broadcasters do in the developing world. They often put themselves in harm’s way, but they are true internationalists and, importantly, help the rest of us understand what is going on in
the world and how we are all connected. We’d like to congratulate all of the nominees and winners.”

Channel 4 clocked up a further four awards including two for the channel’s international current affairs strand, Unreported World. The Television Award went to Unreported World: Philippines – The City with Too Many People (Quicksilver Media for Channel 4) – an expose of conditions in Manila, one of the world’s most overpopulated
cities and being stretched to breaking point. The Environment Award, sponsored by the International Institute for Environment and Development, went to Unreported World: Pakistan – After the Floods (Quicksilver Media for Channel 4) – an investigation into the catastrophic consequences of this disaster long after the flood waters
recede, and an expose of how incompetence and alleged corruption have caused poor areas to be flooded and rich ones protected.

The Drama Award, which highlights the contribution of feature films and TV and radio dramas in bringing international stories to UK audiences, was won by Peter Kosminsky’s critically acclaimed Channel 4 series, The Promise, exploring Britain’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Children’s Rights Award, sponsored by UNICEF UK, is judged by a panel of young people aged between 16 and 19. The youth jury awarded the gong to Dispatches – Children of Gaza (True Vision Productions for Channel 4) which follows the lives of children living in the aftermath of the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008. True
Vision was also nominated for a second film in the category, Dispatches: the Lost Girls of South Africa, cementing their position as the foremost production company making films about vulnerable children around the world.

The BBC scooped a hat-trick of awards across TV and radio. The Documentary Award, sponsored by Malaria Consortium, went to Welcome to Lagos (Keo Films for BBC2) – an observational documentary series exploring life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria. The Radio Award
went to the BBC World Service’s Assignment strand for India’s Microcredit Meltdown, an investigation into the crisis hitting India’s microcredit industry. The Popular Features Award went to Blood, Sweat & Luxuries, Gold and E-Waste (Ricochet for BBC3), in which six young British adults lived and worked alongside people in Africa who
who mine, manufacture, process and recycle luxury goods.

The Guardian Media Group dominated the Press Award category, sponsored by Merlin, with every nominee being from either the Guardian or the Observer. The award was won by Jonathan Steele for his Guardian G2 feature ‘Real Life Inside Helmand’, in which he reported on – and questioned the success of – the UK’s aid and
development work in Afghanistan.

The Guardian scored another coup by winning the MDGs Award, supported by the EuropeAid Cooperation Office of the European Union, for coverage of the ambitious blueprint for human development in the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. The Award went to the Guardian’s Global Development website – a dynamic, interactive site
featuring high quality multi-media content which the judges praised for promoting conversation about the MDGs across the globe and providing an invaluable and innovative resource for development professionals.

The coveted Special Award, sponsored by Thomson Foundation, went to ShujaazFM – a cutting-edge multi-media project in Kenya which combines a radio soap, eye-catching comics, website and interactive social media to engage with millions of the country’s young people. Using youth slang and high quality graphic artwork, the
storylines promote ways to find employment, generate income, protect the environment, improve agriculture and generally boost the confidence and opportunities of the 27 million Kenyans – 73% of the population – who are aged under 30. Within six months of launching, it had already reached 15 million young people, and its printed
comic is now the biggest circulating magazine in Kenya. Hunt Emerson, British comic book legend and renowned Beano contributor, helped to train the young Kenyan team as they created the comic’s distinctive look. The award was collected by Rob Burnet, the social entrepreneur behind the project and two young members of the Shujaaz team, female producer/editor Eunice Maina, 24, and actor/scriptwriter, Peter Paul Kades, 26.

The judges were also keen to commend the other nominated entries: the Samfya Women Filmmakers’ Initiative -a grassroots filmmaking collective in rural Zambia producing films tackling topics including AIDS and domestic violence in an environment where women’s voices are rarely heard. The In Tune for Life project was nominated
for its work helping musicians in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Kenya and DR Congo improve the health of impoverished communities via their own music and video.

The New Media Award, sponsored by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, went to the National Film Board of Canada for Highrise – Out My Window – a feature length web documentary exploring the state of our urban planet and told by people across the globe who look out on the world from highrise windows in the most
commonly built form of the last century.

Finally, this year saw the introduction of a new category, the Student Award, to recognise excellence and encourage an international outlook in the future generation of media professionals. The award was won by Ling Lee, a student at the National Film and Television School, for Miles Apart – a beautifully made documentary about
migrant workers in China and a searing portrayal of a family in a time of crisis.

The One World Media Awards will be broadcast on BBC World News on Saturday 14th May at 09:10 and 21:10 GMT and on Sunday 15th May at 02:10 and 15:10 GMT.

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