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Amnesty International Canada’s Media Awards winners for 2014

    December 22, 2014

    The repression and violence against Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region, the struggle for refugees living in the huge Dadaab camp in Kenya, the plight of African migrants in Italy, the international trade in human organs, and the flawed justice system in India are issues explored in five excellent pieces of journalism. They were recognized today as winners of Amnesty International Canada’s twentieth annual Media Awards for outstanding reporting about human rights issues in the Canadian media.

    Nathan VanderKlippe is the winner this year in national print for his feature article “Inside China’s war on terror” about the repression and violence against Muslim minority Uighurs in Xinjiang, published in The Globe and Mail on August 16, 2014. Traveling through the region Nathan VanderKlippe examines in detail the ways in which the Chinese majority have denigrated and diminished the Uighur minority. Some have turned their anger to action while many just want “equal rights.”

    “Nathan VanderKlippe’s investigative piece on Beijing’s attempt to stamp out dissent in a remote corner of China gives us new insight in the machinations of an authoritarian regime,” says Jeff Sallot, one of the three judges for the media awards. “This story shows great journalistic enterprise.” 

    In the video/audio category there were two winners. In the “long form” for video/audio entries the winner was “Tales from the Organ Trade” an 82 minute documentary written and director by Ric Esther Bienstock broadcast on the History Channel July 7, 2014.  With interviews in Canada, the United States, Turkey, Israel, Kosovo and the Philippines this remarkable film exposes the market for kidneys from the suppliers to the brokers and those desperately in need.

    “This is a gripping story of exploitation and greed that also poses important questions about the supply of organs and how societies should meet those demands,” says Madelaine Drohan, a member of the awards jury.

    The “short form” winner in the video/audio category was for a feature item on the Global News TV program 16X9 called “Indian Bus Outrage”. Produced by Brennan Leffler and Nisha Pahuja it reveals the horror of rape and murder that has been compounded by injustice in the treatment of the perpetrators.

    “Dealing with crimes must adhere to the rule of law no matter how horrific the incident may be”, says Sallot. “Without that diligence the whole process is corrupted, tainted by injustice and the social order is weakened, not enhanced.”

    In the local/alternative print category the winner is Carol Sanders for a series of articles in The Winnipeg Free Press in June 2014 – “Nowhere to go: Life in Dadaab”. The articles provide special insight into the lives of Somalis living in the huge Kenyan refugee camp highlighting their connections to Winnipeg.

    “In a clear way Carol Sanders makes the global local, going to where they are and exploring the connections”, says Madelaine Drohan. “What is happening to refugees in Dadaab becomes part of the fabric of the lives of others and she brings the issues back home to Canada, drawing people and issues together.”

    For the online media category the winner this year was “Living at the Border” a multimedia presentation of the realities of African refugees and migrants lives in Italy. Produced by Asha Siad and Roda Siad the website went live on April 23, 2014.

    “Asha Siad and Roda Siad combine powerful images with compelling narrative to illuminate an important story about refugees,” notes Jeff Sallot. “Their project is a fine example of the deft use of digital tools by serious journalists.”

    The judges for the Amnesty International Canada Media Awards this year were: Jeff Sallot, a past instructor in journalism at Carleton University and former foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail, Madelaine Drohan, an author and Canada correspondent for The Economist, and John Tackaberry, Media Relations for the English branch of Amnesty International Canada, a former reporter for Inter Press Service and Pacifica Radio News

    The awards are for national print, video/audio pieces, local/alternative print articles and online media that were printed, broadcast or posted in the period from 1 October, 2013 to 30 September 2014.   

    The awards will be presented at a special event in Toronto in April 2015.         


    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations
    (613)744-7667 #236