Today, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) honored excellence in journalism at its five broadcast networks during the 19th David Burke Distinguished Journalism Awards ceremony, which was held online.
“Our writers, photographers, editors, producers, and support professionals who make up this organization are committed to public service,” USAGM CEO Michael Pack said during the ceremony’s opening. “Their passion is an inspiration to me, and their contributions are far-reaching…. There’s no doubt about it – our journalists are heroes. At risk to their own lives as well as to those of their friends and families, they work in some of the world’s most dangerous regions and media-repressive environments.”
Per tradition, one winner was selected from each of USAGM’s five broadcasting networks: Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN).
This year’s David Burke Distinguished Journalism awardees:
- Hong Kong Reporting Team (VOA News Center and VOA China Branch) for unprecedented collaboration in covering the prolonged protests in Hong Kong, providing unbiased and honest coverage of the protestors’ quest for freedom.
- Radio Ozodi (RFE/RL, Tajik Service) for reporting on issues such as extremism, police brutality, and access to health care that are not covered by Tajik media and providing a vital public service to Tajik- and Russian-speaking audiences.
- Central News Director Álvaro Alba (OCB) for upholding agency journalistic ethics and standards at Radio & Television Márti, a critical contribution to USAGM’s mission to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.
- Hong Kong Bureau Team (RFA) for coverage of the anti-extradition law protests that rocked Hong Kong, bringing fresh, uncensored perspectives and objective, and timely reporting to Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking audiences in Mainland China.
- Reporter/Producer Maan Aljizzani, Video Editor Omar Al Humairi, and Unit Chief and Lead Investigative Reporter Hussein Elrazzaz (MBN) for reporting on financial and political corruption of Iraqi religious leaders in the face of great political pressure, providing transparency and accountability in the region.
“This year’s winners epitomize what this award is about — courage, excellence, and professionalism in journalism,” CEO Pack added. “They have all gone above and beyond the call of duty for their audiences and for the causes of liberty and democracy.”