Congratulations to the winners – Matthieu Aikins and Neha Dixit – of the 2014 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.
Aikins, a Canadian reporter, was praised for compelling anecdotes and quality analysis – and for bravery while reporting solo deep inside conflict-ridden Afghan provinces.
Neha Dixit (below Left), whose courageous and innovative series of undercover reports on rape were published by the New York Times, Outlook India, and Yahoo News, won the Local Reporter award.
This year’s jury also recognises another Indian journalist, Priyanka Dubey (below Right), with a Special Recognition Award for her coverage of India’s ‘forgotten rapes’. Ms Dubey’s stories were published in Tehelka and Yahoo News, bringing to rare public attention the long wait for justice for Indian victims of violent sexual assault, despite national legal reforms.
The US$5,000 award in each category will be presented to the two winners, Neha Dixit and Matthieu Aikins, at a prestigious ceremony at Thomson Reuters London headquarters on 30 October.
Shortlisted entrants in the Freelance category were:
- David Francis (USA)
- James Harkin (Republic of Ireland/UK)
- Tristan McConnell (UK)
- Alexis Okeowo (USA)
- Elena Stancu (Romania)
- Graeme Wood (Canada/USA)
- Meng Yang (China)
Local Reporter category:
- Itunu Ajayi (Nigeria)
- Reji Joseph (India)
- Alizeh Kohari (Pakistan)
- Olatunji Ololade (Nigeria)
- Shaila Rosagel (Mexico)
- ‘Fisayo Soyombo (Nigeria)
The judges for this the 13th annual awards were Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News, UK; Paola Totaro, President of the Foreign Press Association, London, UK; Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent and Sean Maguire, Head of Communications and Spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, UK.
Established in 2002, the awards honour American freelance journalist Kurt Schork, who was killed in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone. The awards recognize the work of reporters who seek to illuminate the human condition through courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and other key issues.
The annual awards are in two categories: the first recognises the often unacknowledged work of local reporters in developing nations or countries in transition who write about events in their homeland. The second is for freelance journalists who travel to the world’s news hotspots, often at great personal risk and little protection, to witness and report the impact and consequences of major events.