The 2018 One World Media Award winners were announced at a ceremony at BAFTA on Monday 18 June. Hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, the 30th Anniversary Awards celebrated outstanding work from all media platforms and across a wide range of genres.
International Journalist of the Year Award
Burmese journalists Wa Lone, aged 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, aged 28, have worked together on a series of hard-hitting investigations into human rights abuses against the Rohingyas, providing some of the earliest accounts.
Wa Lone was the first journalist from an international news organisation to travel independently inside the conflict zone, and Kyaw Soe Oo exposed an apartheid-like system. They have tirelessly documented the crisis that has seen the deaths and flight of thousands of people. Their piece Massacre in Myanmar resulted in detainment for both of them in December, accused of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. This has sparked calls from around the globe for their release, but so far international efforts to secure their freedom have failed.
“The Rohingya refugee crisis was one of the most important stories of the past 12 months, and the brave and meticulous work of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo brought the true situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state home to the world. Their reporting was relied upon by everyone else: with their attention to detail and use of multiple voices and sources, uniquely including Buddhist villagers and even members of the security forces, who admitted crimes, they reconstructed the story of a massacre so devastatingly that the authorities could not deny the facts, but chose to persecute them.”
The International Journalist of the Year Award jury
Feature Documentary Award
Sponsored by Bertha Foundation
Director & Editor: Pau Ortiz
Producer & Director of Photography: María Nova López
The Other Side of the Wall is an outstanding and gripping insight into the realities of undocumented migration and family rupture. In an intimately told story, young Hondurans Ale and Rocio are faced with the greatest challenge possible when their mother is imprisoned under dubious charges. Without a father, they are forced to act as parents to their two younger siblings. But as undocumented immigrants, their right to live, work and study in Mexico is under threat and with rising tensions between them, there is no obvious way out of a desperate situation.
The film has already effected positive change for the family itself and has demonstrated – in screenings to politicians and the public – that it has the capacity to change minds and public opinion at a much broader level.
” In a group of very strong films, The Other Side of the Wall is an outstanding and gripping insight into the realities of undocumented migration and family rupture. In an intimately told story, beautifully filmed and edited, the two central characters Ale and Rocio are mesmerising. Their warmth, humanity and mutual love shine through, and their extraordinary resilience in an extraordinarily difficult situation destroys stereotypes of “illegal migrants” at a stroke. The film has already effected positive change for the family itself and has demonstrated – in screenings to politicians and the public – that it has the capacity to change minds and public opinion at a much broader level.”
Feature Documentary Award Jury
New Voice Award
Thirty-one-year-old Cathy Otten is a British journalist and author based in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her thorough and original investigations over the past five years delve into the complexities of life in Iraq. She is best known for her book ‘With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State’, described by the The Los Angeles Review of Books as: “The best kind of humanist journalism: lucid, transparent, grimly realistic.… (N)o book has covered it better.”
Based in Iraq since 2013, Cathy writes features and magazine articles focusing on the causes of violence and social and psychological impacts of war. She is currently a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. Recent work includes stories on Iraqi soldiers reacting to Trump’s Muslim ban during the fight for Mosul; the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage by ISIS and the struggle for Yezidi women and children to heal after the trauma inflicted on them by ISIS.
” That Cathy Otten took first place was the first unanimous decision the jury took. Her work spoke to the very best of dedication to her craft and her subjects. Working in Iraqi kurdistan she was in familiar and well-trawled territory yet she brought a freshness to the stories of Yezidi women and Iraqi soldiers simply by telling their stories with clarity and simplicity.”
New Voice Award Jury
Digital Media Award
Sponsored by Google
Producers: Vladimir Hernandez & Charlie Newland
Reporter: Stephanie Hegarty
This interactive website tells the story of an ordinary teenager forced to do something extraordinarily brutal. Falmata is one of hundreds, possibly even thousands, of teenagers kidnapped by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and given a choice – between becoming a wife or a suicide bomber.
After being abducted, imprisoned, strapped with a suicide vest and then escaping, she saved herself and countless other people from becoming another statistic in this barbaric war. Using the details that she shared with the team, the site brings Falmata’s compelling story to life using animation, photography and informational graphics, allowing the reader to experience her journey along with her. Her story was translated into 19 languages in text, radio and video, and reached millions of readers.
” The judges were moved by the remarkable story of Falmata, one of the hundreds of young women, most of them teenagers, who have been abducted by militants in Nigeria and forced to carry out suicide bombings for them. This visual feature stands out for its original editorial angle on the story and for its simple but effective digital presentation. Falmata’s story is visualised with stylish, memorable illustrations – sensitively protecting this vulnerable young woman’s identity without obscuring any of the emotional impact of her ordeal. The judges were impressed that the producers worked hard to make this important story accessible to wide audiences – translating it into 15 different languages and creating additional content for social media channels, encouraging audience engagement.”
Digital Media Award Jury
Libya Slave Auction
Journalist: Nima Elbagir
Producer: Raja Razek
Photojournalist: Alex Platt
In this brave report, CNN journalists presented explosive proof of a modern-day slave auction in Libya. They had long heard about migrants being sold into forced labour by smugglers there as they waited for passage to Europe. When mobile phone video emerged of an actual auction, the team travelled to Libya to verify it.
Using hidden cameras while pretending to look for a missing person, the team gained access to the slave auction and recorded it. Later they went to a Libyan detention centre where migrants were held before being sent home. Many men there said they, too, had been sold – some, multiple times – to pay off their “debt” to the smugglers. Reaction to this report was far-reaching – spurring European governments, the African Union, the Libyan authorities and the UN into action.
Libya Slave Auction | CNN
India’s Sanitary Pad Man | PBS
Rohingya Exodus | Sky News
” This story stood out from the rest of the entries because it was a true global scoop that had impact around the world. The journalism was exemplary and brave. Particularly impressive was that the reporter, having got video evidence of the trade in humans, went to see and witness this trade for herself adding weight and authority to the story. In this era of fake news there is no substitute for eyewitness journalism.”
News Award Jury
Television Documentary Award
Sponsored by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
KEO Films for BBC Two
Series Director: James Bluemel
Executive Producer: Will Anderson
Series Editor: Simon Sykes
Shot over three years and in 31 countries, the multi-award winning Exodus series is a gripping account of the experiences of refugees arriving in Europe, told from their own point of view.
In Greece, a couple are struggling to get enough money for a smuggler to take their family to Germany, and can only afford to send one of them. Nazifa is six months pregnant, and they hope that if the baby is born there, their chances of being given asylum will be greater. Meanwhile, already in Germany, Syrian Isra’a and her family are settling in to their new lives, but the Europe that welcomed them has changed. The politics of the far right is gaining momentum, and it is more difficult than ever for refugees to cross borders. In Morocco, Mussa has already travelled 4000 miles from Guinea. Now there is one more obstacle to overcome: a six-metre high fence that separates Morocco from Spain.
” A gripping account of the experiences of war refugee families and individuals arriving in Europe told from the viewpoint of the refugees themselves. The cameras capture the fear and drama of their journeys up close, revealing the shocking reality and human impact of the bureaucratic and physical barriers that Europe has constructed, yet carrying hope for a better future. The film’s unique and intimate access, its choice of cast and its skilful editing succeeds in engaging viewers of all ages in the realities of migration. The jury commends the producers and broadcaster for documenting this important international story, at a time when the British news agenda has moved on.”
Television Documentary Award Jury
Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal for The New York Times Magazine
Journalists: Azmat Khan & Anand Gopal
Photographer: Giles Price
Over the course of nearly two years, Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq. It was the first time that anyone had sought to conduct a systematic ground survey of the civilian death toll since the US-led anti-ISIS air war began in 2014. They found that 1 in 5 US-led coalition airstrikes killed civilians—a rate 31 times higher than the official count.
A hugely ambitious project, it not only uncovered a deep injustice whereby people are being needlessly killed, not compensated and worse, deemed sympathisers with ISIS until proven innocent, but it also sparked a change in how the US deals with such casualties. Blending data journalism, war reporting and narrative storytelling, the investigation prompted immediate impact from current and former US government officials. It has also spurred UN investigators, NGOs and academic institutions to conduct similar studies in countries such as Yemen and Afghanistan.
” This piece of work set out to prove the inconsistencies between the reported number of civilian deaths by US drones in Iraq, and the actual number. It was an ambitious project spanning two years of work, but it achieved not only an exclusive revelation that uncovered a deep injustice whereby people are being needlessly killed, not compensated and worse, deemed sympathisers with ISIS until proven innocent, but it sparked a change in how the US deals with such casualties. We were deeply impressed at how meticulously and tirelessly the reporters worked to uncover facts and speak to people on the ground, but also how they gained access to the US military. There was excellent use of multi-media throughout. It is a long read but compelling from paragraph to paragraph, beautifully told, and no one can failed to be moved by the story of Basim Razzo, who lost his wife and daughter, and is the key protagonist in the feature. This set the gold standard for how this type of journalism should be covered.”
Print Award Jury
Grain Media for AlJazeera.com
Director: Anthony Barwell
Producer: Lisa Dupenois
Presenter: Amani Zain
Jordan has been in the midst of an ongoing drought, putting pressure on the country’s quickly depleting water reserves. Alarmingly, almost half of the water distributed to homes across the country is lost through illegal wells and faulty pipes. According to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, it is estimated that by 2025 Jordan’s water needs will exceed its resources by more than 26 percent.
However, there is one initiative that is tackling the problem head on. Earthrise visited Jordan’s Water Wise Women, a programme that puts women at the heart of efforts to combat water scarcity by training local women to be plumbers. These empowered women are not only challenging stereotypes by thriving in the male-dominated profession of plumbing, but also dealing with leakages in their communities and implementing a range of water management techniques.
” Our winning choice showcases women in Jordan thriving in the male-dominated profession of plumbing. By shedding light on this hidden world, as well as on the larger, under-reported issue of Jordan’s water shortages, the film has relevance locally, regionally and globally. In a world where, as we are informed, a woman needs to be accompanied if a male plumber attends the home, this story offers a powerful solution. The project’s visible impact both on women’s lives as well as on the water situation – strained both by climate change and the refugee crisis – offers hope of sustainable change. The film is creatively shot and edited and successfully balances fact with entertainment. The presenter Amina Zain is engaging and gives a sense of real involvement in the story, particularly in the sequences where she interacts naturally with the women plumbers. The empowerment of the women comes through strongly, via a variety of voices, and has the potential to inspire women everywhere.”
Women Entrepreneurs Reporting Award Jury
Popular Features Award
Insight TWI for BBC Three
Shooting Producer/Director: Joshua Baker
Producer: Helen Spooner
Presenter: Stacey Dooley
Stacey Dooley returned to Iraq to seek justice for the women whose lives have been changed forever by ISIS. Insightful and empathetic, this film followed Stacey as she joined Shireen, a 23-year-old Yazidi woman who was held as a sex slave for over two years.
Shireen managed to escape from ISIS while enslaved in Mosul, but Yazidis remain in captivity. Now she is seeking justice, with Stacey’s help. The pair witness an interrogation of an ISIS suspect in court, but with the Iraqi justice system overwhelmed by cases, it is not as clear-cut as they might have hoped. Armed with questions, Shireen and Stacey finally have the chance to get answers when they come face-to-face with an ISIS commander in jail. He claims he murdered hundreds of men and raped countless Yazidi women. In a trip fraught with danger and trauma, Stacey asks: can justice ever really be served for women like Shireen?
” This entry was exemplary of popular journalism at its bravest, most insightful and empathetic. They felt that the presenters’ connection with her contributor was powerfully authentic and this enabled not only a window for the audience onto a conflict and region that can feel overwhelming and confusing, but also gave catharsis for the main character at the heart of the story. Unflinching and compelling.”
Popular Features Award Jury
China in Ethiopia
Paul Zhou | Open City Docs School, University College London
Seifu and Lei Zhang both work for Everbright, a Chinese manufacturing company in Ethiopia that produces plastic products. Young translator Seifu and homesick Chinese Resources Purchaser Lei Zhang have completely different backgrounds and personalities, but share a common goal: to earn more money for their families. With excellent access and revealing, smart storytelling, China in Ethiopia explores a political and economic story in a human way.
China in Ethiopia | Paul Zhou, Open City Docs School, University College London
Circle | Jayisha Patel, National Film and Television School
What Remains | Natalie Allison, Open City Docs School, University College London
” With excellent access and really revealing, smart storytelling, the film told us much about a huge political and economic story in a human way. The film was rich in memorable scenes and vignettes where the access gained was sustained and developed – each earning its place in the film. The narratives of the two main characters were sensitively told, with depth, humour and compassion and were skillfully developed and interwoven. A very accomplished film.”
Student Award Jury
Refugee Reporting Award
Sponsored by British Red Cross
Director & Producer: Anders Hammer
Filmed: Rania Mustafa Ali
Additional filming: Ayman Al Husseen & Anders Hammer
A deeply personal and immersive piece that gave viewers a fresh and authentic perspective, Escape from Syria was filmed by Rania Mustafa Ali, 20, as she journeyed from war-torn Kobane in Syria to Austria. Her cheerful determination and humorous interactions with other refugees made the brutality and insecurity that often surrounded her all the more shocking.
Rania was cheated by people smugglers, teargassed and beaten at the Macedonian border and risked drowning in the Mediterranean, travelling in a boat meant to hold 15 people but stuffed with over 50. Her powerful footage showed what many refugees face on their perilous journey to Europe in hope of securing a safe future. The film became a viral phenomenon and has had over 8 million views on The Guardian’s website and Facebook page – over 80,000 of those sharing the link to the film with others.
” It’s easy to understand why this film was watched by over 8 million people. It’s a deeply personal and immersive piece that gave viewers a fresh and authentic perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis at a time when public interest was waning. The footage is raw and powerful, particularly the scenes showing terrified families in an overcrowded boat and of refugees choking on teargas at the Macedonian border. But it’s Rania’s humanity, resilience and humour that really lifts this piece to another level. Her cheerful determination and humourous interactions with other refugees make the brutality and insecurity that often surrounds her all the more shocking. Being able to identify with this young woman, who is forced to put herself in danger in order to avoid danger, is crucial for humanising the situation of refugees in Europe and creating greater solidarity with them.”
Refugee Reporting Award Jury
BBC World Service
Reporter: Tomi Oladipo
Producer: Rob Walker
Editor: Bridget Harney
This powerful and tense documentary pieces together the days of hell experienced by foreign aid workers attacked by South Sudanese soldiers in their compound in Juba in July 2016. Tensions were running high in South Sudan’s three-year civil war and government troops had gone on the rampage. As the soldiers breached the compound, the terrified group frantically appealed to the United Nations HQ less than a mile away. Using their phones and sending messages via Skype and Facebook, their calls for help went unheeded.
A UN investigation subsequently found that a lack of leadership on the part of key senior Mission personnel culminated in a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence. Speaking to those who survived the attacks, witnesses to the violence and members of the UN mission, Tomi Oladipo reconstructed the events and asked what lies behind the UN’s repeated failure to act.
” This is a very compelling, harrowing and detailed consequential piece. Expertly written, with a seamless narrative, the narrator tells the story with great authority and tone, weaving nicely in and out of first hand accounts. All of this while maintaining journalistic integrity, for such a gritty and dark subject matter. Add to this high production values, this piece has all the elements of an excellent audio journalistic story. A deserved winner.”
Radio Award Jury
Short Film Award
The New York Times
Director & Editor: Roopa Gogineni
Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo
Editor: Andrew Joseph Cross
A long-standing civil war in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan and a government chokehold on media fuels the creation of a satirical puppet show, Bisha TV, to spread news of the conflict. Ganja, the pacifist son of a rebel commander, travels the countryside with a puppet of President Omar al-Bashir, filming episodes for the wildly popular web series.
This short film weaves together the story of Ganja’s life in the Nuba Mountains, his creative process working under extraordinary conditions, and darkly hilarious scenes from Bisha TV. Through Ganja’s work – and the comic escapades of two Sudanese strongmen – we see an unlikely flowering of political humor and the true power of grassroots media.
” A beautifully shot and brilliantly executed film, notable for its use of humour to effectively communicate an important story of oppression and resistance. The jury felt the film-maker’s approach delivered a superbly accessible film with huge potential to reach and engage a younger audience. The film smartly found a way to capture the approach of its subjects – the puppeteers – and deliver a similar impact to its own audience. Yet it included some truly shocking moments, leaving the viewer in no doubt that this story is no joke. The jury commends the film-maker for a bold approach that will encourage others to think creatively about how to tackle difficult topics in film. This originality, the sensitivity of its application and the quality of the filmmaking all helped this film to truly stand out from the pack.”
Short Film Award Jury
Based in Jordan
AlHudood is an Arabic language original content creator that uses satire and comedy to shed light on current and dominant issues related to the Middle East. It creatively and imaginatively tackles political, social and economic issues that affect the daily lives of people in the region. Since its inception in 2013, AlHudood has published 2155 articles and weekly caricatures, and last year published over 650 articles, read by over 2.5 million people.
With a focus on human rights, corruption, freedom of speech, gender equality and good governance, AlHudood portrays issues in an accessible way from a liberal secular perspective, using a dark, critical lens. Despite its high readership, Alhudood slipped under the authorities’ radar for the first few years; however, in the last year, Editor-In-Chief Isam Uraiqat has been charged under Jordan’s new cyber crime law of disturbing relations with neighbouring countries and is now unable to go back to his home country.
” The judges were impressed that over a sustained period [AlHudood] have used satire and irony, including a satirical media award, to tackle a wide a range of important subjects in the Middle East region, often causing offence to those in power – so much that the current editor cannot go to his home country of Jordan. The organisation has also focused on publishing the work of women writers and training over 200 people in satirical writing.”
Special Award Jury