Scott Bob, 2013 winner
Scott Bobb of VOA’s Central News received the Burke Award for his comprehensive and courageous coverage of the conflict in Syria.
Bobb crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border twice in 2012. On his first trip, working with freelance VJ Paige Kollock, he witnessed a government airstrike in the town of Azaz while interviewing a Free Syrian Army commander—a Syrian jet flew overhead and dropped a bomb nearby. In the ensuing chaos, Bobb and his colleague were able to bring home for viewers and listeners the daily reality of the conflict and the impact not just on the fighters involved but also on the civilian population. The pair returned to Azaz the following day to report on the aftermath and in subsequent days went to other rebel-held towns near the Turkish border to gather information for stories.
On his second trip into Syrian territory, Bobb later filed radio and television reports about the heavy damage incurred upon the ancient market area of Aleppo and the resistance to the Assad regime in the Syrian Kurdish territory. He and freelance VJ Sebastian Meyer crossed the Turkish border and made their way to the city of Aleppo, which was being besieged by the rebels. The two bravely made their way into the center of town where the fighting was fiercest to report on rebel efforts to take over the city. While there, they were able to corroborate reports that the ancient market area had been heavily damaged in the fighting. Bobb subsequently filed multiple reports about the situation in Aleppo and the pair traveled into Syrian Kurdish territory to report on resistance there to the Assad regime.
A 35-year veteran of VOA, Bobb demonstrated bravery and commitment to VOA’s mission to report the news to our audiences even under the most dangerous circumstances.