2016 Special Award Winner

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) – based in Syria

2016 Special Award Winner

Pictured above, from left: Clarissa Ward, CNN and Hussam Eesa, RBSS

RBSS is an underground network of Syrian citizen journalists with the stated aim of exposing “…the atrocities committed by terrorist extremist group ISIS”. Since the rise of ISIS 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.

During this period, they have been one of the few reliable sources of information coming out of Raqqa. A core of 17 members, with the help of 70 volunteers, operate in the city and the surrounding areas, gathering information, pictures and video to show the reality millions have to endure. This is published to a global audience via their website and Twitter feeds on an almost daily basis. With no other media organisation able to report there, it’s been left to this small group of Syrians to become one, in order to get information out via their secret network.

“We are honoured to receive the Special Award, as it recognises the importance of our work in an international context, and highlights the vital role we play in delivering private news to local sources in a country where dominant groups prevent journalists from working. This award encourages us to continue our work despite the risks, and to continue developing citizens journalists, who play a crucial part in undermining terrorist groups such as ISIS. We must work together to expose abuses and bring truth, objectively, to the world. Thank you One World Media once again for honouring the memory of our fallen comrades with this award.”

Hussam Eesa