Anne Look, 2014 winner
As the Dakar Bureau Chief for VOA Central News, Anne Look’s coverage of eastern Africa took her to Mali five times since the Islamist insurgency in 2012. In January 2013, Anne traveled to Northern Mali to report on the training of a militia group formed to battle the Islamist extremists. She embedded with French troops as they deployed for ground operations to stabilize the situation in the north. Anne shot and edited her own video and produced her own TV spots during the embed. Anne returned to Mali in July to cover the elections. She provided taped reports and live shots in English and French.
In December, Look and VOA stringer Heather Murdock went on a dangerous reporting trip to the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. They were there to report on how the city had rebounded from months of attacks from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. But shortly after arriving, Boko Haram attacked the air force base in the city. A curfew was imposed just before the VOA reporters boarded a flight out. At the risk of revealing her presence, Look filed a radio report about the attack and was the only Western journalist reporting on-the-scene.
After spending a week of hopes raised and dashed for a flight out, the two reporters engaged a driver they trusted to navigate the 525 miles from Maiduguri to the VOA bureau in Abuja. Look’s courage and innate understanding of the story and surroundings demonstrate the best traits of a VOA correspondent.