Each category in the One World Media Awards is judged by a carefully selected panel, all distinguished members of their professions with expertise in the relevant areas.

Meet each of our judges below – from award-winning filmmakers and media experts, to top editors and international correspondents at Sky News, CNN, Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, BBC and more!

Digital Media Award

Claudia Baez

Co-founder, Cuestión Pública

Matt Cooke

Head of Partnerships & Training, Google News Initiative

Ravin Sampat

Head of Original Journalism, BBC News

Mikhail Zygar

Journalist, Creative Producer & Founding Editor-in-Chief, Dozhd

Environmental Impact Award

Noel Kok

Executive Director, Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress

Sonali Prasad

Science Journalist

Lisa Rose

Head of Impact, WaterBear Network

Aishwarya Sridhar

Photographer & Filmmaker

Feature Documentary Award

Naruemon Chaingam

Documentary Filmmaker

Qila Gill

Programmer, Sheffield Doc Fest

Adeyemi Michael

Filmmaker

Jonny Taylor

Commissioner, Original Docs Team, Netflix

International Journalist of the Year Award

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Presenter, Channel 4 News

Lubna Masarwa

Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Middle East Eye

John Sudworth

Journalist, BBC

News Award

Rageh Omaar

Presenter, ITV News

Danish Raza

Independent Journalist

Athandiwe Saba

Head of News, Mail & Guardian

Sola Tayo

Journalist, BBC & Associate Fellow, Chatham House

New Voice Award

Marina Dias

Communication Coordinator, Agência Pública

Shatha Hammad

Journalist, Middle East Eye

Louise Hastings

Managing Editor, Sky News

Daniel Pearl

Commissioning Editor, ViacomCBS

Popular Features Award

Mercy Adhiambo

Features Writer & Editor, The Standard

Eleni Giokos

Correspondent, CNN

Cassie Quarless

Filmmaker

Julie Shaw

Commissioning Editor, BBC

Print Award

Mazen Darwish

Lawyer & President of Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression

May Jeong

Investigative Reporter

Katie Vanneck-Smith

Co-founder & Publisher of Tortoise Media

Jessica Winch

Foreign Editor, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph

Podcast & Radio Award

Jasmin Bauomy

Multimedia Journalist & Podcast Producer

James Cator

UK/IE Head of Studios, Spotify

Josephine Karianjahi

Co-founder, Africa Podcast Festival

Dickens Olewe

Journalist, BBC & Podcast Producer

Refugee Reporting Award

Marwa

Voices Network & Journalism Student

Jane Flanagan

Africa Correspondent, The Times

Pasca Lane

Head of Media, British Red Cross

Phineas Rueckert

Investigative Journalist, Forbidden Stories

Short Film Award

Talal Al-Muhanna

Filmmaker & Senior Producer, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre

Mina Keshavarz

Documentary Filmmaker & Producer

Lindsay Poulton

Head of Documentaries, The Guardian

Jason Sondhi

Co-Founder & Editor-in-chief, Short of the Week

Student Award

Ghada Eldemellawy

OWM Student Award Nominee 2020

Nino Orjonikidze

Commissioning Editor, Chai Khana

Nina Robinson

Lecturer Media Studies, Birmingham City University

Television Documentary Award

Nevine Mabro

Deputy Editor, Channel 4 News

Ruona Meyer

Investigative Journalist & Filmmaker

HR Venkatesh

Director, BOOM FactCheck & JSK Stanford Fellow 2019

Jonathan Wells

Head of Multimedia Production, EBRD

Women Entrepreneurs Reporting Award

Maria Shaw-Barragan

Head of Global Partners, European Investment Bank

Zaina Erhaim

Journalist, Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Zilanie Gondwe

Director, Blackmore PR

Alex Jakana

Programme Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Special Award

The Special Award is judged by the Trustees of One World Media.

Jonathan Wells

Jonathan is Head of Video at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Before that, he worked at the BBC for 10 years as a Producer and Director making features and documentaries. 

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Lindsay Poulton

Lindsay is a multi-award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist who is passionate about innovation in digital storytelling and new platforms. She has produced a wide range of documentaries and multimedia interactives on subjects ranging from climate change to the First World War, the global garment industry in Bangladesh to the psychological impact of solitary confinement in American prisons.

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Matt Cooke

Matt leads a global team working with journalists to help strengthen digital skills, collaborate on industry challenges, and support innovation in the newsroom. The News Lab forms part of the Google News Initiative, an effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Matt has been at Google for 9 years, during this time he’s led multiple election projects focusing on fact-checking initiatives, data journalism and broadcast partnerships. Matt was the first member of the News Lab outside the U.S, and launched Europe’s first News Lab Fellowship, he was also responsible for partnerships including The Royal Family’s first experiment with interactive livestreams. 

Before joining Google, he was a television reporter and producer at BBC News for eight years.

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Mikhail Zygar

Mikhail is an author, journalist, creative producer, and founding Editor-in-Chief of the Russian independent news TV-channel, Dozhd (2010 – 2015). His bestseller All the Kremlin’s Men is based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, presenting a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. His book The Empire Must Die portrays the years leading up to the Russian revolution and the vivid drama of Russia’s brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the Communist Revolution.

Mikhail is the founder of the creative studio Future History specializing in inventing new genres of storytelling. Future History launched Project1917. Free History (an online project that enables participants to learn about the events of 1917 from those who lived during this defining moment of history) and 1968.digital (a docuseries that lets you witness one of the wildest years in history the way you witness the news now). Its most recent venture Mobile Art Theater is an innovative award-winning app with immersive audio performances.

He is also the winner of the CPJ International Press Freedom Award (2014) and TED Fellow (2018).

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Ravin Sampat

Ravin is an innovative executive producer/journalist with 10 years experience working in news, current affairs and digital journalism. He is currently Head of Original Journalism at BBC News, a new unit focussed on long and short form journalistic treatments for underserved audiences. He recently returned to the BBC after leaving in 2018 to become an Editor at the slow news startup, Tortoise.

Previously, he was senior editor in the BBC’s long form audio dept, and executive producer for BBC Stories – the BBC’s first digital current affairs strand. Ravin also worked as a senior broadcast journalist for BBC News and created the first Snapchat documentary for BBC Panorama as well as developed a number of new storytelling formats for BBC News and Current Affairs.

He was identified as an “Emerging Leader” on the first BBC News Leadership programme. Before joining BBC, Ravin led the team behind NewsPoint, a digital news gathering operation in London.

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Claudia Baez

Claudia is an investigative data journalist, co-founder, and data editor of Cuestión Pública, an independent investigative media outlet. She was one of the architects of the most complete database of the armed conflict in Colombia built at the National Center of Historical Memory, and she covered the Trump election from ProPublica in New York. Claudia is obsessed with supporting investigative journalism with technology and data journalism.

Claudia was a member of the winning team of the 2016 Ortega y Gasset Award in the best multimedia work category, she also won first honorable mention in the 2016 Inter-American Press Association Awards in the multimedia coverage category and won an honorable mention in the 2015 IPYS Investigative Journalism Awards. She has a Master’s degree in Economic and Social Development Studies at Sorbonne University in Paris.

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Lisa Rose

As head of impact at WaterBear, Lisa is responsible for all of our non-profit partnerships, community mobilisation around their causes and all of the impact campaigns and reporting. 

Prior to WaterBear, Lisa spent over 15 years campaigning on multiple issues with NGOs including Greenpeace and Avaaz. She was often creating and leading digital mobilisation projects, media stunts, campaign strategy and political advocacy. Recently, Lisa was the Environmental Campaigns Manager for Patagonia in Europe where she led campaigns together with partner NGOs; including taking on the salmon farming industry in Europe alongside Patagonia’s documentary Artifishal and pushing Equinor to back off from drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 

Lisa also has a background in marine zoology and wildlife conservation and in a former life she studied endangered species and taught scuba diving in Bermuda where she was born.

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Aishwarya Sridhar

Aishwarya is an award winning wildlife photographer, filmmaker and presenter. She has worked with various TV networks and organisations like National Geographic, Discovery Channel, DD National, Canon India and WWF-India. Her work has been featured in international and national newspapers and magazines like BBC Wildlife, Guardian, Mongabay, Digital Camera, Times of India, Sanctuary Asia, Saevus to name a few. In 2020, she became the first Indian woman to win at the Wildlife Photographer of The Year Awards in London.

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Noel Kok

Noel is a producer, creative director, and storyteller with a passion for natural history and stories of African conservation. After dropping out of law school, Kok began his 25-year career in management, marketing, music and media production. Noel has produced, directed and distributed a number of albums, live shows, documentary shorts, and a conservation TV series.

Noel’s real passion is creating opportunities and unlocking barriers to entry for African storytellers. Noel is a co-founder and Executive Director of Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers, an organization dedicated to transforming wildlife, science, and conservation storytelling in Africa and supporting the continent’s next generation of conservation filmmakers.

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Sonali Prasad

Sonali is an independent journalist and researcher covering science, climate, and environmental issues. She recently finished her Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston in 2020. Her stories have taken different forms, from print, video, data visualization to art installations. Her work has been published in several outlets such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, Hakai Magazine, Mongabay, Quartz, and Esquire Singapore.

Previously, she worked as an investigative reporter at Columbia University’s Energy and Environment Project, and her team’s series on dirty fossil fuel investments made under the Obama administration won an Honorable Mention at the Society Of Environmental Journalists Awards. She has also worked on an innovative team project combining technology and storytelling to pull out coral reef health data from citizen-sourced underwater images. She is a former Google News Lab Fellow and Pulitzer Traveling Fellow. She has been selected for the Logan Science Journalism fellowship at the prestigious Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which has been deferred to the summer of 2021/22 due to the pandemic.

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Qila Gill

Qila Gill is a film producer and programmer working across documentary, fiction and artist film. Currently part of the artistic team at Sheffield Doc/Fest as a selection committee, she has previously programmed for Experimenta BFI London Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and Aesthetica Film Festival. Presently, in post-production for 2020 Jarman Award winner Michelle Williams Gamaker’s The Bang Straws, she is also co-producing Nepali filmmaker Asmita Shrish’s debut feature doc with Min Bahadur Bham, while in development with artist Onyeka Igwe and Beverley Bennett. She is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

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Adeyemi Michael

Adeyemi is a multi award-winning filmmaker/artist. His work primarily centers the African and black experience. Telling stories of resilience, existence, reimagining and transformation of people both in the diaspora and on the African continent. Being Nigerian born and raised in London his Yoruba heritage and culture has featured heavily in his work embracing all from the mundane to stories of wonder. He is intent on carving out narratives that allow the stories he tells to have agency, nuance and license to be free from constraint but most importantly bringing value to African/Black life. At the heart of his work is empathy both on and off screen.

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Jonny Taylor

Jonny commissions original documentary films out of the UK for the global streaming platform, Netflix. Jonny has worked across titles such as American Murder: The Family Next Door, Tiger King, Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer and Night on Earth. Prior to joining Netflix, Jonny worked at Rogan Productions as an executive producer. His directing credits include Protecting our Parents (BBC Two), Life And Death Row (BBC Three) and Great Ormond Street (BBC Two). Jonny has also served as an executive producer on BBC Panorama doc Can Violent Men Change? and BBC World News’ Start Up Libya. Jonny’s work has won a Grierson Award and been nominated for the BAFTAs and RTS Awards.

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Mazen Darwish

Mazen is one of Syria’s most prominent activists and advocates of free speech, a pioneer in strategic litigation and a historical civil society actor. Mazen is the founder of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM). He has been active in the fight for Human Rights since the late nineties and has been recognised as such by international organisations and institutions through rewards and titles. 

Mazen is a Syrian Lawyer and journalist, his positions and his will to unfold and change the Syrian story have led him more than once to jail and prevented him from traveling outside Syria for more than ten years. He has fought for freedom and for the marginalised in a context where such actions were prohibited and he now tirelessly carries on these efforts from Europe, as nothing but democracy will prevent the constant human rights violations in Syria, will preserve human dignity and achieve some justice for the Syrians everywhere.

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Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Krishnan is one of the main anchors of Channel 4 News. He also fronts Channel 4 News’ podcast Ways to Change the World which interviews one guest at length each week about the big ideas in their lives and the events that have helped shape their thinking. 

Since joining the team in 1998 he has fronted big events from the Omagh bombing, 9/11, the Mumbai attacks, to special war reports from Syria, Yemen and Gaza. Having covered five British general elections he does special political shows for Channel 4 such as the Ask the Chancellors debate. 

Krishnan reports for the foreign affairs series Unreported World and commentates on major live events for Channel 4 such as the Paralympics Ceremonies. He also anchors controversial programmes outside the news including the first live televised Autopsy.

His TV career began at the age of eighteen presenting youth television for the BBC. He went on to present, report and produce a variety of programmes from Newsround to Newsnight.

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Rageh Omaar

Rageh is a Somali-born British journalist and writer. He was a BBC world affairs correspondent, where he made his name reporting from Iraq. In September 2006, he moved to a new post at Al Jazeera English, where he presented the nightly weekday documentary series Witness until January 2010. The Rageh Omaar Report, first aired February 2010, is a one-hour, monthly investigative documentary in which he reports on international current affairs stories.

From January 2013, he became a special correspondent and presenter for ITV News, reporting on a broad range of news stories, as well as producing special in-depth reports from all around the UK and further afield. A year after his appointment, Omaar was promoted to International Affairs Editor for ITV News. Since October 2015, alongside his duties as International Affairs Editor, he has been a Deputy Newscaster of ITV News at Ten. Since September 2017 Omaar has occasionally presented the ITV Lunchtime News including the ITV News London Lunchtime Bulletin and the ITV Evening News.

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Sola Taylor

Sola is a broadcast journalist and interview producer.  She is currently an Assistant Editor at BBC World Service Languages in London.  She has worked in News for twenty years – first in radio and later television. Before joining the World Service in 2019, she worked for several years on the BBC’s flagship interview programme Hardtalk where she produced interviews with world leaders and celebrities.

Sola has also worked for Al Jazeera English in its Doha and London newsrooms.

She worked as a freelancer for the Qatar Foundation series, The Doha Debates.  Her special programme that brought the (at the time) warring Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fattah together on the same stage won an AIB award.

She was also a core member of Deutsche Welle’s New Arab Debates team – in which Tim Sebastian brought together opposing voices in Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan to debate on topical issues in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

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Danish Raza

Danish is a multimedia journalist with over 13 years of experience spanning some of India’s largest broadcast, digital and print newsrooms. Currently, he is the South Asia Editor at VICE World News. He has travelled across the length and breadth of India to produce ground-breaking stories on identity politics, social justice, human rights, trafficking and slavery. He has reported from conflict zones including the Maoist infested pockets in central India and the No Man’s Land along the India-Bangladesh border.

In 2019, he was trained at Missouri School of Journalism (USA) and worked at the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper for six months as an Alfred Friendly Press Partners Fellow. His work has won the UNFPA Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2013-14; Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2015 (shortlisted) and the opportunity to attend Reporting Slavery & Trafficking course conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation in London (2015). He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Convergent Journalism from A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Delhi University.

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Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe is a multi-award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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Shatha Hammad

Palestinian reporter Shatha Hammad was born in the occupied West Bank village of Silwad, east of Ramallah, where she still lives. She has reported from the ground for Middle East Eye since 2018 as part of her ongoing work as a journalist writing for local, regional and international media. Shatha has been detained at Israeli army checkpoints, covered violent military crackdowns and routinely has her movement and work impeded. Through all this, she continues to produce groundbreaking reporting that leads the world’s coverage.

In 2019 she was the first to speak to Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother, and report on the heartbreak that followed Israel’s decision to ban the US congresswoman from visiting her family home in the West Bank. The international media soon followed suit. Shatha was awarded the One World Media New Voice Award in 2020 for her courageous work.

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Marina Dias

Marina has a degree in Journalism from the State University of Londrina (UEL), Brazil. She worked as a reporter at UEL FM radio and as a press officer for a multinational company through the PR agency InPress Porter Novelli, where she participated in international product launching campaigns. Since 2014, she has been the communication coordinator and a member of the management board of Agência Pública.

She has dedicated herself to launching innovative journalism projects at Agência Pública for the past six years. She is also responsible for coordinating the distribution of contents from Agência Pública to various media outlets in Brazil and abroad.

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Louise Hastings

Louise is managing editor and part of the leadership team at Sky News.  She’s previously been a senior news editor, a programme producer, and head of audience for numerous live televised debates. Louise began her career in commercial radio and was editor of the IRN news service for UK commercial radio.

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Julie Shaw

Julie became part of the BBC Daytime and Early Peak commissioning team in March 2017, developing many new and established brands and overseeing their move into Peak.  As commissioning editor of long-running series like Great British Menu, Escape to the Country, Crimewatch Live and new brands like  Frontline Fightback, the challenge is to keep the shows fresh and vibrant by working closely with the extraordinary teams that make them. 

Before joining the BBC, Julie worked as a series producer/showrunner in current affairs and daytime programming, covering both studio, outside broadcasts and pre-recorded programmes.  She has produced and directed various documentaries including the RTS award-winning Living with Michael Jackson, viewed by over 155 million people worldwide, and series produced prime-time popular factual series like BBC One’s Shop Well for Less.   

Disabled since birth, Julie is committed to increasing on-screen portrayal and off-screen representation of all under-represented groups, and took part in Channel 4’s Year of Disability in 2016, and appears regularly as a panellist on discussions about disability in broadcasting and film.

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Mercy Adhiambo

Mercy is a features writer and editor at Standard Media Group in Nairobi. She is also a regular contributor at scidev.net, a global news outlet that focuses on science and technology. 

Her stories are mostly on human interest, health, education, gender and children issues. She was the Neiman 2020 visiting fellow at Harvard University, and she is 2016 alumni of the Alfred Friendly Press Partners Fellowship where she worked at the features desk at the Oklahoman newspaper in the USA. Her passion is to bring more underreported stories to all media outlets.

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May Jeong

May is a reporting fellow at Type Investigations, and an award-winning magazine writer. She is best known for her months-long investigation into the MSF hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan for The Intercept. This won her the 2017  South Asian Journalists Association’s Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Report on South Asia, as well as the Prix Bayeux Calvados Award for War Correspondents in the Young Reporter category.

Her reporting for The Intercept, New York Times, London Review of Books, Harper’s, Financial Times, and In These Times has won the Society of Business Editors and Writers’ Award, the One World Media New Voice Award, and has been shortlisted for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in the Best Investigative Article category, the Kurt Schork Awards, and the Livingston Awards.

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Lubna Masarwa

Lubna is the Jerusalem bureau chief for Middle East Eye, for which she has worked since it was established in 2014. 

Lubna is responsible for coordinating a team of journalists based on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Jerusalem, deciding how best to report events from the region. In 2020 Shatha Hammad, a team member working from the West Bank, won the prestigious One World Media New Voice Award. And in November 2020, Maha Hussaini, who is based in Gaza, won the Martin Adler Prize by the Rory Peck Trust.

Lubna, who is herself Palestinian, has also covered stories including the recent elections in Israel and the Lions Gate uprising in East Jerusalem in 2017. Before joining MEE, Masarwa worked at the Alquds University in Jerusalem as a community organiser, and also coordinated visits by British lawmakers and journalists to Israel Palestine.

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Dickens Olewe

Dickens Olewe is a Kenyan journalist working for the BBC, and an alumni of the John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University. His interest is in using new technology for storytelling and integrating the public in the news reporting process. He has been a speaker at several journalism conferences around the world on several topics including: constructive journalism, drones for news, podcasting and user-centred design thinking.

He also runs The Dickens Olewe podcast where he interviews guests on media, politics and technology in Africa.

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Josephine Karianjahi

Josephine is a celebrated connector, experienced international development consultant, social change maker in residence and podcaster from Nairobi. She brings people together and as co-lead of Africa Podfest brings the best of Africa in podcasting to the world. She is also a member of the 2020-1 Google Podcasts creator program Advisory Committee.

She speaks to audiences around the world about using their research, voice and platform to create community change. Using film and mixed media, she has led other innovative projects in the African advocacy space mobilising new media to bring community partners together for women and girls’ empowerment. She is on the Board of The Action Foundation Kenya focused on inclusive education for children and young people living with disabilities.

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Pasca Lane

Pasca is Director of Media at the British Red Cross. She heads up a communications team which aims to bear witness to the challenges faced by people in crisis around the world, including refugee and asylum seekers. Pasca has 14 years’ experience developing communications campaigns for charities, public health initiatives and leading brands.

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Marwa

A journalist student who has an interest in representing people especially those whose voices are not heard. Marwa is also a voice ambassador at The Voices Network and is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and communities.

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Jane Flanagan

Jane Flanagan is the Africa Correspondent of The Times. She has spent most of the last two decades in South Africa working as a foreign correspondent for a variety of British newspapers.  Prior to that, she was assistant news editor of the Daily Telegraph in London. During one of her failed attempts to leave journalism, Jane spent four years in the occupied Palestinian territory as a consultant with the United Nations.

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Mina Keshavarz

Mina is a documentary filmmaker and producer. She has made several awarded documentary films on social issues which have premiered in IDFA, Thessaloniki, Sheffield, Tribeca, London Film Festival including Profession: Documentaries, Braving the Waves and The Art of Living in Danger. Since Mina established her documentary film production MinDoc Film Production in Iran in 2013, she produced and directed 2 interactive documentaries in co-production with the Netherlands and granted by Netherlands Film Institute.

In 2016 she directed and produced Braving the Waves a feature length documentary film supported by IDFA Bertha Fund, Sorfond, Fritt Ord, which won best documentary film award in London International Documentary Festival. Mina’s new film The Art of Living in Danger has been supported by Arte/ZDF, NRW Cinema Fund and HotDocs International CrossCurrent Theatrical Fund. It also received the best pitch award in MipDoc 2017 in Cannes.

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Talal Al-Muhanna

Talal is a producer of documentary and fiction films and arts & culture projects. Through his creative label Linked Productions, he produces and distributes films by Arab filmmakers. As Senior Producer at Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre in Kuwait, Talal also produces multi-media performances with international artists and designers, including 59 Productions. 

Talal holds a BA and MA in Film & Moving Image Production from Leeds Beckett University. In 2015, he was a Producing Fellow at the Center for Asian American Media, which funded his documentary Jaddoland.

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Nina Robinson

Nina is a digital media consultant advising on content and podcast strategy for clients including the Times of India group.  She also delivers digital media and journalism lectures at Birmingham City University, home to the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity.  She campaigns for inclusion of journalists from less privileged backgrounds; she is a Punjabi Sikh and attended a comprehensive school in the West Midlands from where she gained a place at Oxford University to study PPE. 

A winner of the prestigious Peabody Award for producing the BBC World Service documentary Europe’s Migrant Crisis and receiving a Foreign Press Association prize presenting and producing Chicago Dog Fighting.  Nina worked as a broadcaster and senior journalist for the BBC World Service documentaries unit for over ten years and travelled the world making programmes such as Strangers for Hire from Japan.  Nina was also the BBC’s UK Affairs and Global Development Reporter and headed a citizen journalism hub for the News and Current Affairs Division. Prior to joining the World Service, Nina lived in Kingston, Jamaica as a foreign correspondent.  She completed a Masters in Economics in 2018, is Vice Chair of Governors and is currently setting up her own media company.

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Nino Orjonikidze

Nino is a Georgian documentary filmmaker – author of several award-winning documentaries, including English Teacher, Altzaney, and A Tunnel – her latest documentary, a co-production with ZDF/ARTE, that premiered at IDFA 2019. It won the Grand Prix at Trento Film Festival, Best International Film awards at Montenegro’s Underhill FF, Makedox and DokuBaku. 

Alongside directing and producing, Nino teaches documentary & experimental filmmaking at GIPA (Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management) in Tbilisi, Georgia for almost 10 years, and works as a mentor & commissioning editor for the Media Platform Chai-Khana, supervising documentary film production in the South Caucasus. She established Artefact Production 12 years ago after quitting news journalism related jobs and moving into creative documentary production. Nino studied journalism, TV production and documentary film in Goldsmiths, University of London (MA) and Tbilisi State University (BA).

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Ghada Eldemellawy

Ghada is a recent graduate of the National Film and Television School where her graduation documentary won several accolades including a Grierson award and is longlisted for a BAFTA. She was previously a researcher at the legal charity Reprieve where she investigated a number of complex, high-profile press-facing cases across Africa and the Middle East.

She also has a wide media experience having worked at ITN Productions and completed placements at Channel 4 News and Al Jazeera.

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Ruona Meyer

Ruona is a multimedia journalist and researcher with 17 years’ experience, across mainstream print, radio, wire agency, TV and digital outlets across Nigeria, South Africa, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Ruona’s investigative documentary Sweet Sweet Codeine gave Nigeria and the BBC World Service its first Emmy nomination (2019), winning the One World Media Television Documentary Award category and the BBC News Award for Investigation of the Year, as well as a British Journalism Award nomination in the same year. 

Currently a PhD scholar researching African-Diaspora investigative journalism networks, she recently served as Head of Research on Unmasked, a high-profile documentary on Nigeria’s COVID-19 response (for release mid-2021).

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Cassie Quarless

Cassie is a producer/director with a background in documentary and comedy shorts. His first BFI funded feature length film Generation Revolution was released in cinemas in the UK and toured the US and South America. He is currently directing a new feature called Malcolm that is part-funded by IFP/HBO. He is also directing an hour-long TV documentary about Stokely Carmichael for BBC4.

Cassie is currently an Eccles Fellow at the British Library and his work has been featured in The Guardian, Teen Vogue and i-D Magazine amongst many others.

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HR Venkatesh

HR has been a journalist since 2001. In 2018-19 he was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.

He was one of the founding editors of The Quint and a Senior Anchor at CNN-IBN until he left TV news. HR has been a reporter, anchor, editor, entrepreneur, and consultant. He grew up in Bangalore and now lives in New Delhi. He works as Director of Training for BOOM, an organisation that fights misinformation in India.

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Maria Shaw-Barragan

Maria is the Director of the Department in the European Investment Bank (EIB) that handles the lending operations in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Asia and Latin America. In these regions, EIB’s finance is focused on development and pro-poor investments with infrastructure as a key enabler for economic growth and opportunities, as well as on support to the private sector (in particular SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs), food security, agro-industries, sustainable energy, water, telecommunications and transport, always aligning with the global external strategy of the European Union. 

Maria joined the EIB in 1997 and has had a number of responsibilities, including as Head of the Strategy Division of the EIB until June 2016. In this role her aim was to maximize the impact of the EIB, in a sustainable manner, to deliver on the Bank’s mission to make a significant contribution to the future of Europe, its partners and its citizens by promoting economic and social cohesion in the EU and beyond. In this position, Maria was directly involved in the design of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

Previously, Maria was heading the Division in charge of restructuring, new products and equity investments in the Legal Department of EIB.

With her legal background and sound business understanding Maria has over the years contributed to product innovation in EIB, always seeking new ways in which EIB could adapt and serve better the interest of the EU and European citizens.

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Zaina Erhaim

Zaina is an award winning Syrian journalist and communication expert, who has been working in this field for more than a decade with special focus on gender equity. She trained and coached 100s of citizen journalists in the Middle East and North Africa, and contributed to three books related to journalism in conflict and women.

Zaina has an MA in International Journalism from City University of London and is an advocate for breaking the gender stereotyping of the MENA women. She was a judge in many journalism awards including the European Commission Journalist Prize Lorenzo Natali and Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Awards.

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Zilanie Gondwe

Zilanie is a feminist, journalist and socialite activist with purpose. Zilanie works with movements that intersect gender and climate change. Such interventions most recently include co-founding ICON (Institute for the Conservation of Nature) and working with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and UNDP. 

Zilanie’s professional career grew from being a newspaper managing editor in the Malawi media to an impassioned advocate in the creative industries with the Lake of Stars Festival and Arterial Network Africa. She directs and writes resistance theatre in Chitenje Changa, the Malawian inspired Vagina Monologues. In the gender civil society sector she has worked with Girl Effect Malawi and UN Women in partnerships and fund mobilisation. Masks4AllMalawi is the covid-19 initiative she works with in supporting the national efforts to reduce infections in the globally challenging pandemic.

Zilanie believes the future and impact of social transformation needs creative and innovative communications with increased visibility to mobilise communities to actively participate in changing their lives and safeguarding opportunities and resources. 

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Alex Jakana

Alex is a program officer for Global Media Partnerships at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. In this role, Alex helps set up media partnerships for the foundation as well as manage a portfolio of media investments in support of the foundation’s global health and development goals in Africa, India, China, Europe and the US. 

Before joining the foundation, Alex was Executive Producer of editorial partnerships at the BBC in London. He was responsible for designing a coherent strategy for sustainable editorial relationships across Africa and established bespoke editorial relationships between the BBC and chosen affiliates on the continent. This was the culmination of an eighteen-year long career as an international multimedia journalist. During his time at the BBC, he also presented several of the BBC’s African news and current affairs programmes on radio and TV including BBC Africa debate, the award-winning Africa Have Your Say, World Have Your Say, Focus on Africa and Network Africa

Alex also worked for three different radio stations in Uganda between 1997 and 2004. A passionate advocate of collaboration, Alex is a firm believer in the power of partnership.

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John Sudworth

John is the BBC’s Beijing correspondent, a position he’s held since 2015. He joined the BBC in 2003, where he was a reporter for 4 years on Radio 4. John became Dhaka correspondent in January 2007 and Seoul correspondent in September 2007, before moving to Shanghai in 2012.

John was awarded the OWM International Journalist of the Year Award in 2020 for his work covering the Uighur camps in China. The work generated massive media pick-up around the world and changed the political debate about China, from Washington to London and beyond. The original reporting on the Xinjiang Muslim story was a ground-breaking investigation into the camps that first brought their existence to the attention of the world.

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Eleni Giokos

Eleni is a CNN correspondent and anchor of Connecting Africa on CNN International.  Born in Greece and raised in South Africa, she has more than 15 years’ experience working across TV, digital, radio and print media.

One of CNN’s most versatile correspondents, she has interviewed heads of state including former South African President, Jacob Zuma, and former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, alongside the likes of IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, ECB president, Christine Lagarde, and Virgin founder, Richard Branson.  She has also sat down with NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, Toronto Raptors President, Masai Ujiri, basketball legends, Bismack Biyombo and Dikembe Mutombo, as well as a ‘who’s who?’ of Africa’s most prominent business leaders, from Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu and Patrice Motsepe, to the late Bob Collymore. 

At CNN she has reported on the ground across Africa, from Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Zimbabwe, to Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Lesotho and more. She has highlighted the growing links between Africa and Asia, reporting from South Korea and Kazakhstan, travelled to the United States to report from Washington DC, and anchored shows from the network’s London, New York and Atlanta hubs.  She was made an IMF Fellow in 2014.

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Jessica Winch

Jessica is the Foreign Editor for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, responsible for all foreign coverage in print and online. She joined the Telegraph in 2011 and covered the London 2012 Olympics before reporting on investments and finance. She joined the foreign team in 2014 and became the paper’s youngest Foreign Editor in 2018. 

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Jasmin Bauomy

Jasmin is an award-winning multimedia journalist with about a decade of experience in editorial professions. She helped launch Al Jazeera English’s (AJE) first news and current affairs podcast, The Debrief, as a host and producer.

She then went on to be a senior podcast producer at Jetty – AJE’s podcasting wing. Her work on the war in Yemen and skin colour politics in South Sudan for the Jetty podcast The Take was nominated, longlisted, and has won multiple awards.

Currently, Jasmin consults and produces podcasts for clients, such as the International Finance Corporation. She also freelances for Euronews’ digital newsdesk.

Jasmin has become known for her ability to distill complex news stories into accessible articles, audio, and video formats.

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Nevine Mabro

As Head of Foreign News over the past five years, Nevine has led the programme’s agenda-setting foreign output, enhancing its ability to get extraordinary coverage out of some of the world’s most dangerous places.

From Syria, Somalia to South America, the team has been awarded a raft of coveted accolades during her tenure including two International Emmys for news coverage, a BAFTA and countless RTS Awards. Most recently, she led the programne’s Aleppo coverage with Syrian filmmaker Wa’ad al-Kateab which garnered international acclaim, amassing more than 400 million online views alone.

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Jason Sondhi

Co-Founder of the influential website Short of the Week, for 14 years Jason Sondhi has curated shorts for international audiences on the web, via S/W, and as Vimeo’s Lead Curator from 2011-2016. S/W recently welcomed Oscar-winning producer Michael Sugar, Cary Fukunaga & David Gordon Green as minority investors, and partnered with Netflix on a first-look deal, as the company seeks to grow its mission to provide audience and opportunities to the next generation of innovative visual storytellers.

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James Cator

James is UK/IE Head of Studios at Spotify. He sits at the heart of the platform’s transition from a music service into the world’s first true audio network, providing the best on-demand, original and exclusive audio content for the platform which now has over 2.2m podcasts globally.  James started out as a DJ, promoting events while still at school, before going on to run record labels, produce music, and DJ internationally. He continues to produce music today alongside being responsible for leading the UK and Ireland Spotify podcast business. He has been instrumental in the success of the podcast growth in the markets, now the third largest globally behind the US and Brazil, and has introduced some hugely successful Exclusive and Original hits in the UK including The Receipts, Jaack Maate’s Happy Hour and Sorted With The Dyers.

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Katie Vanneck-Smith

Katie is co-founder and Publisher of Tortoise Media with James Harding and Matthew Barzun. Tortoise is a slow media news platform that is committed to looking at what is driving the news and is built on an inclusive and open membership model. More than 80,000 people have signed up to become a Tortoise member since its launched in 2019.

Prior to this new adventure as an entrepreneur, Katie was the President of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, where she led the company to over 3m subscribers, the largest number in WSJ history. She has previously worked at the Telegraph Media Group and The Times, where, as Chief Marketing Officer, she was the architect of the newspaper’s early move to paid digital subscriptions. She created the UK’s first news membership brand, Times+, and oversaw the events programmes, including both the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Times CEO Summit. She was named Pioneer of the Year at the British Media Awards. Kaite is also vice-patron of the charity, Family Action and a Strategic Adviser to Big Change.

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Naruemon Chaingam

Naruemon is an award-winning documentary director/producer with a focus on investigation and social affairs.

Southeast Asian-based, she has a strong passion for telling stories about the complex social issues affecting her region for broadcasters such as HBO Vice News, Al Jazeera 101 East, Undercover Asia, SBS Europe and Arte France. She was also a member of the International Bangkok Documentary Award jury 2020.

She has a nose for great stories and the careful, long-term research it takes to pull them together with accuracy and compelling detail. But she also drives her work with a human touch, an open mind and empathy towards the subjects of her stories.

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Phineas Rueckert

Phineas joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2020. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Global Citizen in New York City, where he reported on humanitarian issues. He holds a joint master’s degree in journalism and human rights with a focus on Latin America from Sciences Po in Paris, and his previous work has been published in AFP, News Deeply and Atlas Obscura.

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Daniel Pearl

Daniel has spent over 20 years commissioning, producing and directing high profile unscripted TV. He is currently a Commissioning Editor at ViacomCBS overseeing a large number of factual shows on Channel 5. Previously he was Deputy Head of News & Current Affairs at Channel 4 where he originated the award-winning Leaving Neverland documentary, oversaw Channel 4 News and was the editor of Dispatches. Daniel also spent 15 years at the BBC where he was Deputy Editor of Newsnight, 10 O’Clock News and Panorama.

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