Amnesty International to recognise human rights reporting

Amnesty International Australia is to recognise excellence in reporting on human rights issues in the local media with the launch of its inaugural media awards.

The announcement:

Today Amnesty International Australia launched its inaugural Media Awards, recognising excellence in reporting on human rights issues in the Australian media.

“Australian journalists are among the best in the world. They produce courageous, compelling and exclusive stories that expose or highlight human rights abuses,” said Karen Trentini, Amnesty International Australia Media Manager.

“Journalists play a vital role in bringing human rights issues to public attention and to different and new audiences. Yet, in many countries journalists are themselves subjected to human rights abuses just for doing their job – as we have seen in Egypt this week with the shocking and harsh seven and 10 year prison sentences given to Peter Greste and his Al Jazeera colleagues, a clear attack on press freedom.

“We want to publicly recognise the journalists who go above and beyond to break human rights stories, produce a fair and balanced report and who, through their work, encourage a greater understanding of human rights issues.”

In this, their first year, the awards will have three categories: Indigenous reporting, Broadcast reporting and Print/Online reporting.

A selection of esteemed Australian journalists will be judging the inaugural awards.

ABC Lateline presenter Emma Alberici, Channel 10 Eyewitness News presenter Hugh Riminton and SBS News presenter Anton Enus will decide the winner of the Broadcast award.

Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Australia Emily Wilson, Courier Mail Editor Christopher Dore and Sydney Morning Herald International and Politics editor Peter Hartcher will judge the Print/Online category.

The Indigenous award will be judged by NITV News presenter Natalie Ahmat; Michelle Aleksandrovics Lovegrove, Executive Producer of SBS Radio’s Living Black; and Chris Graham, Owner and Editor of New Matilda.

Journalists and their editors and producers are encouraged to go to www.amnesty.org.au/media-awards and enter stories published or broadcast between 1 August 2013 and 1 August 2014.

Entries close on 18 August 2014, with the winners to be announced in October.

The Australian awards follow in the tradition of Amnesty International’s UK media awards, which were established in 1992 to recognise the best in human rights journalism.

Over the past 22 years the UK awards have grown in prestige, attracting judges from the media, arts and entertainment industries, NGO sector, academia and the legal profession.

Since their inception the UK awards have expanded to celebrate the breadth and quality of human rights reporting across the media – including broadcast, digital and print.

“We plan to expand the Australian awards in coming years, to include more award categories and to recognise the work of more journalists,” said Karen Trentini.

Source: Amnesty International Australia press release


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