Baghdad Bureau, 2008 winner
The Baghdad Bureau of Radio Free Iraq, the Arabic language broadcast of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, won the 2008 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award.
RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin congratulated the bureau staff, saying: “This year, there were many good candidates at RFE/RL. I commend your grace under pressure, perseverance and persistence in getting the news to Iraqi listeners in an extraordinarily dangerous reporting environment.”
In 2007, two RFE/RL correspondents were murdered in separate targeted killings, another was kidnapped and held hostage for two weeks, and RFE/RL’s Baghdad bureau chief went into exile after he received death threats. On a number of occasions, Radio Free Iraq reporters walking about Baghdad narrowly escaped injury from nearby suicide car bombings.
Baghdad correspondents in 2007 have interviewed almost every major figure in Iraqi politics, including President Jalal Talibani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, government ministers and parliamentarians, providing balanced coverage of domestic developments. In addition to Baghdad-based correspondents, the bureau provides logistical and editorial support for a network of 20 journalists on the ground in central, northern and southern Iraq.