Radio 4 journalist Manveen Rana, whose radio documentary ‘A New Life in Europe: The Dhnie Family’ beat off heavy competition to receive the Radio Award….reports Asian Lit News
One World Media, now in its 28th year of celebrating journalistic excellence in international media coverage of the developing world, announced the winners of the annual One World Media Awards. Amongst the winners this year was reporter Manveen Rana, whose radio documentary ‘A New Life in Europe: The Dhnie Family’ for BBC Radio 4 beat off heavy competition to receive the Radio Award.
Hosted this year by Sky’s Alex Crawford, the prestigious One World Media Awards took place at BAFTA and saw some of the world’s finest journalists, reporters and filmmakers – past, present and future – gather to celebrate the industry’s achievements.
Focused on highlighting the vital role journalists and filmmakers have in increasing cultural understanding and supporting equality and justice worldwide, the One World Media Awards have set an industry gold standard for media professionals reporting in, on and from the developing world, throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the post-Soviet states.
The Dhnie Family is the story of a Syrian family heading for Europe in search of a better life. For the last two years, the Dhnie family has been living as refugees in Jordan. In August, the family decided there was no future for them there and little prospect of returning to Syria. They packed up their lives and set off for the EU. Manveen Rana documents the twists and turns of their journey in a series of reports for BBC Radio 4’s The World at One.
Also featured amongst the finalists this year, were three stories from the Indian subcontinent:
In the Radio Award category, a documentary entitled ‘The Cost of a Cuppa’ for BBC Radio 4 highlighted the plight of workers on tea plantations which help supply some of Britain’s best known brands. India is one of the largest tea producers in the world with an industry worth billions of pounds – but critics say pickers often have to endure long working hours and insanitary conditions, leading to poor health and high levels of maternal and infant mortality.
In the Popular Features category, ‘Mumbai High: The Musical’ is a unique film, produced for BBC 4, set in a school in Dharavi, the largest slum in Mumbai. The first ever Bollywood inspired documentary musical. Rather than simply documenting the lives of these slum dwelling children the film gives them a voice through song. The power of education is at the forefront of this film and a fair amount of screen time is spent with the deeply committed head teacher as she speaks about the difficulty of teaching in a slum school. This film is an urgent, uplifting and optimistic portrait of teenagers living in one of the toughest urban environments in the world.
In the Press Award category, ‘Midnight Marauders’ a feature by Aman Sethi and published in Foreign Policy Magazine looks at the lengths people have to go, to get access to clean water in India. Globally 1 in 10 people don’t have access to safe water, according to the UN. With this statistic in mind, Sethi sets out to humanize it. He introduces readers to traffickers plying their trade by night, and local dealmakers whose private pipelines crisscross the city, to squatter settlements and the leafy enclaves where Delhi’s elite wash their cards and water their lawns, coursing through more than 100 times the amount of water afforded to the city’s poor each day. Midnight Marauders shows the readers the plight of 100 million poor Indians living off the water grid, while also outlining potential local solutions with applications far beyond his parched home city.
Clothilde Redfern, Director of One World Media said: “The Awards entries each year are in many cases a reflection of the global news agenda. Many people think of the developing world only in terms of disasters, emergencies and, in the case of the past year, terrorism. But the beauty of the Awards is that we see another side to developing countries around the world, with some amazing and inspiring stories of bravery, hope and a commitment to revealing the truth behind the facades we often see.”
The winner of the Short Film Award, ‘El Salvador: “I had a miscarriage. The judge accused me of murder”’, highlights the plight of El Salvador’s young women who fall foul of the country’s punitive anti-abortion law after suffering a miscarriage, and are either serving time or have completed a prison sentence.
Migration has understandably been the topic for many of the entries this year, and whilst two of the winners focus on Syria, a young Cuban student, Fernando Luis González Mitjáns, sheds light on the unseen world of Latin American migrants working as cleaners in the UK in his film ‘Limpiadores’.
Award-winning international journalist and Awards host Alex Crawford, never one to put her own safety first, received the News Award for her very personal coverage of the highly dangerous boat trip undertaken by Syrian refugees to get to Europe. In ‘From Syria to Safety’ Crawford travels alongside the people risking it all to explore the scale of the operations, the reasons why people are doing it and the very real dangers they face on their journey.
ITV’s On Assignment report, ‘Vicky’s Story’, which received the Women’s Rights in Africa Award, profiles one woman’s mission to open up one of the toughest places in South Africa to tourism – and the ultimate price she paid for her success. She was stabbed to death in her own bedroom and her husband was convicted of her killing. A truly shocking part of Vicky’s story is that in South Africa the murder of a woman by her husband or partner isn’t shocking at all. It’s routine.
With ‘citizen journalism’ on the increase and changing not only the way we consume media, but also the speed with which we receive news from the public, the winner of the Special Award is a true testament to the importance of this new style of journalism.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) is an underground network of Syrian citizen journalists with the stated aim of exposing “…the atrocities committed by terrorist extremist group ISIS”. From the rise of ISIS through to today they have, at great personal risk, used their website and social media profiles to report what life is like for ordinary Syrians surviving under the brutal regime of the so called Islamic State.
This year’s recipient of the New Voice Award is 31-year-old Danish journalist Sune Engel Rasmussen who lives in Kabul where he works as a freelance print and multimedia journalist. One of a handful of foreign reporters living and reporting from Afghanistan, his opinion and prognosis of the future of the country is highly respected. Before moving to Kabul in 2014, Sune lived for a couple of years in Iran where he spent equal time making heads and tails of Iranian politics, haggling with taxi drivers and (unsuccessfully) trying to learn that strange finger snap Iranians make when they dance.
Sune frequently commentates on Iran and Afghanistan related matters on international television and radio programs, including HuffPost Live, Sky News, BBC Persian and the Danish programs Deadline and 24/7. Aside from Afghanistan and Iran, he has written on a variety of issues including poaching in Zimbabwe, EU budget cuts in Brussels, undocumented immigration in Harlem, teenage punk in Iceland and Tom Waits.
The entries and finalists for the fifteen categories this year show an outstanding commitment by journalists and media outlets alike to effectively create not just informative pieces, but to provide better insight and appreciation of cultural parameters from around the world. With entries covering current issues around the refugee crisis, corruption, and people smuggling, to some of the lesser-known stories that often remain unaddressed by international media.