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War reports behind the lines in Ukraine and the silent horrors of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia provided the winning stories in this year’s Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.
Clair MacDougall (pictured Right), an Australian journalist, has won the Freelance category award for her courageous stories about the Ebola outbreak published by Foreign Policy magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times.
The judges’unanimous decision praised her deep understanding of the deadly epidemic and her bravery above and beyond the call of journalistic duty.
The Local Reporter category has been won by Ukraine’s Ekaterina Sergatskova (Left) for her steely determination and endless curiosity amid great danger in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. Her reports, which highlighted the human impact of the crisis through accounts from ordinary citizens, were published by Focus.ua and Esquire Ukraine.
In this, the 14th year of the awards, 148 journalists from 56 countries submitted 444 published reports. A shortlist of eight in each of the two categories was judged this year by The Independent (UK) Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, international freelance journalist and author Anna Husarska; and former Reuters editor Sean Maguire, Director, Global Communications, Plan International.
Finalists, in the Local Reporter category, were:
Soma Basu (India), Mai Shams El-Din (Egypt), Ismail Alexandrani (Egypt), Shaila Rosagel (Mexico), Anton Vodianyi (Ukraine), Camini Marajh (Trinidad & Tobago) and Ashutosh Bhardwaj (India).
Freelance Journalist covering International News category:
Alex Perry (UK), Rania Abouzeid (Lebanon/Australia), Ty McCormick (USA), Tristan McConnell (UK), Sandra Weiss (Germany), Anjan Sundaram (France) and Tom Parfitt (UK).
The judges said they did not wish to encourage risk-taking but expressed the belief that some stories necessarily require great risk, reflecting the journalistic spirit of Kurt Schork in whose name the awards were created after he was killed in Sierra Leone in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters.
The two category winners will each receive a cash prize of US $5000 to be presented at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Thomson Reuters auditorium, Canary Wharf, London, on Thursday evening, October 29.
The awards will be presented by Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who was deported from Egypt in February after 400 days in prison. He has since been sentenced in absentia to three years in jail in a case that has provoked international outcry.
The ceremony is hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters.