Iraqi Kurdish journalist Hiwa Osman was the winner of an international media award for Outstanding Contribution to New Media for 2012 in London.
The International Council for Press and Broadcasting of the Next Century Foundation announced the winners of its International Media Awards 2012 at a packed gala ceremony at the Oxford & Cambridge Club London on Saturday 5 of May 2012.
William Morris, the Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation, said: “Hiwa Osman was presented the Award for his determination to shed light on the complex arena that is Iraq today. He has stood up for press freedom and the highest standards of media professionalism in both broadcasting and the printed press”.
Hiwa Osman said that the award was an “important recognition of the role of the NewMedia in the New Middle East.” He added that we still have a long way to go before we see real understanding of the new media atmosphere.
Osman warned of a number of bills at the Iraq parliament. he said that if they pass, they would seriously impede freedom of expression and the right to information.
The Awards were voted on by a high-profile judging panel of journalists which this year included Mark Urban Diplomatic Editor BBC Newsnight, Ayman Mohyeldin Foreign Correspondent, NBC News, Rhoula Khalaf Associate & Middle East Editor Financial Times, Jackie Rowland Senior Correspondent Al Jazeera English, Jaafar El Ahmar, Senior Journalist Al Hayat Newspaper and Dov Alfon, Editor in Chief, Ha’aretz Newspaper.
Full 2012 panel at http://internationalmediaawards.org/?page_id=117
This year’s Awards are particularly focused on the Middle East and inspiring as they come at a time of momentous change sweeping across the region. The Awards celebrate excellence and integrity in reporting and pay tribute to the skill, courage and determination of individual journalists when reporting from areas of conflict or political repression.
The ceremony is an important and special occasion where international foreign correspondents and journalists from across the region are brought together and recognised for their outstanding coverage of the Middle East. A short film was shown in tribute to those journalists who were killed in the Middle East this year.
The International Media Awards are organised under the auspices of the International Council for Press and Broadcasting which was established by the Next Century Foundation in 2005.
The NCF works principally to support peace initiatives across the Middle East and to maintain political and inter-faith dialogue in the region through projects including the International Media Awards.
HIWA OSMAN is commended for his “Thoughts From Iraq” blog. He is also a respected columnist on the English language Kurdish paper, Rudaw, which was founded in 2008 by a group of journalists concerned with the lack of a media outlet which would focus on balanced investigative reporting that would hold the authorities to account. His column is also published in Arabic in the respected Baghdad-based newspaper Alaalem. Hiwa also worked as the Senior Media Advisor in Iraq for the Institute of War & Peace Reporting.
His award for outstanding Contribution to New Media was one of seven awards won by distinguished journalists working in international instituitions.
The categories are:
1. Peace Through Media Awards –Recognises the work of established media figure who have a positive impact on coverage.
Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East Editor
Gideon Levy Journalist and Editor of Haaretz Newspaper, Israel.
Mansoor Al Jamri Editor of Al Wasat Newspaper, Bahrain
2. Cutting Edge Award – acknowledges the work of media professionals who have risen to prominence through the outstanding quality of their work and their balanced and considered coverage
Paul Wood BBC Middle East Correspondent
3. Lifetime Achievement Award – is presented to a figure who has had a long and distinguished career in the media, and who has worked tirelessly for the promotion of better understanding.
Roger Cohen Columnist New York Times and International Herald Tribune.
4. Breakaway Award- encourages new talent , either in mainstream journalism or in the fields of internet news and citizen journalism.
Sherine Tadros Al Jazeera English Presenter and Reporter
5. Contribution to New Media Award
Hiwa Osman, Thought From Iraq Blog and columnist for Kurdish paper Rudaw.
6. Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Award
Dame Anne Leslie Senior Foreign Correspondent Daily Mail
7. Special prize for Contribution to Peace Award
Joint winners Hillel Schenker and Ziad abu Zayyad for their work at the Palestine-Israel Journal