Our awards spotlight series celebrates the incredible work of some of the nominees of the One World Media Awards 2019. With only a few days to go until the ceremony, our final spotlight will focus on the three Special Award nominees. The next nominee is Radio Fresh, a radio station based in Idlib province in northern Syria.
Radio Fresh is nominated for One World Media’s Special Award. This award is unique in that it celebrates an entire independent media organisation that uses media to address social, cultural, political and economic issues, rather than a single piece of media or an individual.
In one of the most dangerous journalistic environments on the planet, Radio Fresh has consistently highlighted the plight of the Syrian people – exposing corruption, informing citizens and setting up an early warning system for bombs.
Based in Idlib, Syria, a place that has been targeted by Assad’s regime, and is often under siege, Radio Fresh has had a huge impact in pushing back on extremist groups in the area, and is one of the few independent media organisations offering counter-messages of tolerance and human rights.
In November 2018, armed men, suspected to be connected to an extremist group, assassinated the Radio Fresh founder, Raed Fares and reporter, Hamoud Juneid. The impact of this was felt through the world’s media, yet Radio Fresh continues to operate despite the clear dangers to the team.
Since 2013, Radio Fresh has provided a vital voice for Syrians who strive for peace and freedom. It has also supplied media training to more than 2,500 young people, creating a new generation of independent journalists in Syria. This award recognises and encourages outstanding reporting that informs the public, provides an outlet for local people’s voices, creates a space for critical information and holds those in power to account. As such, we are honoured to be highlighting the crucial work of Radio Fresh, which exemplifies the courageous journalism that is vital, and increasingly under threat, in today’s world of challenged media freedoms.