This week marked the 31st year of One World Media celebrating journalistic excellence in international media coverage of developing countries. At our annual ceremony hosted by Channel 4’s Jon Snow, we announced the winners of the One World Media Awards 2019.
Radio Fresh, based in Idlib, Syria, was announced as the winner of the prestigious One World Media ‘Special Award’ 2019. In a region targeted by Assad’s regime and relentlessly under siege, the journalism of Radio Fresh has exposed corruption, informed citizens, supported women’s rights, sought to enrich the next generation of journalistic talent and saved lives by providing an early warning system for bombs. Yet through the warfare and despair, Radio Fresh has retained its humour, with much-loved entertainment and children’s programming.
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.
The Award was accepted by Abdulwareth Al Bakour, Director, Radio Fresh, he said: ‘It’s an honour to be awarded the One World Media Special Award, this recognition will help us continue our work bringing independent media to our community in Syria in a very challenging environment.’
Gemma Bradshaw, Director, One World Media said: “In one of the most dangerous journalistic environments on the planet, Radio Fresh has consistently highlighted the plight of the Syrian people. Radio Fresh has 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. We at One World Media congratulate Radio Fresh, a media organisation that is hugely deserving of this year’s ‘Special Award’.”
The Special Award is for an independent media organisation based in a developing country using media to address social, cultural, political and economic issues.
The Award seeks to recognise and encourage 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.