We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism. Named in honour of the late American journalist Kurt Schork, the Awards uniquely recognise the courageous work of freelance journalists, local reporters and
news fixers for their reporting on conflict, corruption and injustice.
This year’s News Fixer Award goes to Kyaw Ye Lynn from Myanmar. In the wake of the military coup – and despite the junta’s tightened media restrictions for international reporters – Lynn worked in dangerous conditions to track down sources, verify information and recommend story angles to international news outlets that were covering the unfolding events from afar. His courage, persistence, ingenuity and skill were recognised by the judges, who praised Lynn for “helping the world to understand what happened in Myanmar after the February coup” as well as “the courage and resilience with which many of its people have responded”.
The News Fixer Award aims to recognise the rarely credited yet often at-risk individuals who typically act as the foreign correspondent’s eyes and ears on the ground. The prize was inspired by the freelance journalist, author and friend of Kurt Schork, Anna Husarska, and pays tribute to the vital role that these unsung heroes play in coverage from difficult, dangerous and hostile locations.
Kenneth R. Rosen, an American journalist, wins the Kurt Schork Freelance Award for his multifaceted investigative work. Rosen travelled to the frontlines in Ukraine to shine a light on Russian cyber warfare, whilst also reporting on the control of oil resources in Syria and the inhumane treatment of migrants in Europe. The judges commended his “courageous and balanced reporting”, where he “not only ferreted out new facts but gave essential context and depth”.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund made the difficult decision to withdraw the 2022 Local Reporter Award conferred on Shatha Hammad, a Palestinian freelance journalist based in the West Bank.
The decision was made following the discovery of a social media post on Hammad’s Facebook feed that appears to quote Hitler – which, in doing so, suggests an endorsement of his ideology. The comment appeared in 2014. The two organisations stand opposed to hate speech of any description and have therefore taken this unusual step in order to protect the integrity of the Awards. You can read the full statement here.
Now in their 21st year, the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism honour the legacy of Kurt Schork who was killed in Sierra Leone while on assignment for Reuters in 2000.
The 2022 Local Reporter category finalists were Ibrahim Adeyemi (Nigeria), who received a special mention from the judges, Dilan Hussein (Iraq) and Safwat Zargar (India). The Freelance category finalists were Andrea Backhaus (Germany), Tetiana Bezruk (Ukraine), Simon Marks (Ireland), Neil Munshi (USA) and Kourosh Ziabari (Iran). The judges in these two categories were Channel 4’s International Editor, Lindsey Hilsum; EMEA Chief Desk Editor at Reuters, Angus MacSwan; and CEO of Internews Europe, Meera Selva.
The 2022 News Fixer category finalists were Kareem Rasheed Sulaiman (Iraq), who received a special mention from the judges, Anton Skyba (Ukraine), Mustafa Al-Ali (Syria) and Barzan Jabar (Iraq). The judges in this category were The Economist’s Editor-at-large, Simon Long; reporter and investigative filmmaker, Juliana Ruhfus; and Global Voices’ Managing Editor, Filip Noubel.
The two winners will each receive a cash prize of US $5000 and will be spotlighted through a multi-media campaign on the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). For the first time, a selection of the 2022 and 2021 winners will participate in a panel discussion – moderated by CNN’s Chief International Anchor, Christiane Amanpour CBE – at the Foundation’s flagship annual event, Trust Conference. The event is taking place in London on the 26 & 27 October. See here for the full agenda and here for ticket options.