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Amnesty announces 2012 Media Awards winners

*Events in Middle East loom large in awards

*Marie Colvin wins posthumous award for her reporting from Syria - mother Rosemarie speaks of her ‘pride’ in video tribute message

Amnesty International UK has announced the winners of its prestigious annual media awards for 2012.

There were wins for Marie Colvin (Sunday Times), Will Storr (Observer), Mary Turner (Times), BBC Radio 5 Live Victoria Derbyshire, Vanessa Baird (New Internationalist), Channel 4/ITN Productions, BBC Newsnight, Al Jazeera and ITV London/ITN.

Awards also went to “Mani” (Channel 4 News), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Amy Mackinnon (Glasgow Guardian) in the student journalism award category.

The winners were announced this evening at a ceremony hosted by Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan at the British Film Institute in central London. The coveted awards - covering the period March 2011-February 2012 - recognise excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism’s significant contribution to the public’s awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

This year’s awards ceremony included a special video tribute message from Marie Colvin’s mother Rosemarie, who spoke of her “pride” at the award given to her daughter. She said:

"I'm very, very proud that her life and her work are recognised in this way.

"She told the story of war always through the eyes of people who were suffering. Through Children's rights, through Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, through various people who were being injured by despotic rulers. She wanted to bring that to light.

"She was an absolute tiger. She was relentless in covering the story that had to be covered.”

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“This was an especially memorable year for human rights journalism, with historic events in the Middle East standing out.

“Tragically, one of our award winners - Marie Colvin - paid with her life to help bring news out of Syria. Once again, we’d like to extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, and again put on record our sense of gratitude at Marie’s magnificent contribution to fearless human rights journalism.

“Well done to all of this year’s winners. Journalism has had its critics in the last 12 months but these awards help show that journalism at its best is still a noble profession.”

Meanwhile, guests at the event supported an at-risk Honduran journalist, Dina Meza, who has recently been the target of violent threats. Meza, who reports for the website Defenders Online (Defensores en Linea) in Honduras, has been pursuing human rights journalism in the country for several years and in 2007 was the recipient of an Amnesty Special Award for Human Rights Journalism under Threat. Guests at the event signed a giant card addressed to Honduras’ ambassador to the UK, Ivan Romero-Martinez, calling on the Honduran authorities to investigate threats against Meza and ensure she is properly protected.

Previous winning journalists have included Mike Thomson, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Eamonn McCann, Christine Toomey, Alan Johnston, Lindsey Hilsum, Gideon Mendel, Lucy Ash, Andrew Gilligan and Gaby Rado. More information at:

Note to editors
Photographs of the award winners are available from the Amnesty UK press office.


ITN Productions for Channel 4 (Callum Macrae, Chris Shaw, Jon Snow) - Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

JUDGES: John Amaechi, Mike Blakemore, Clemency Burton-Hill, Alison Rooper, Kim Sengupta

Bureau of Investigative Journalism (Dan Bell, Iain Overton, Stuart Griffiths, Charlie Mole, Rachel Oldroyd, Angus Stickler) - Deaths in Custody: A Case to Answer

JUDGES: Anna Doble, Wesley Johnson, Sam Strudwick, Jody Thompson

“Mani”, Channel 4 News - Horror in Homs

JUDGES:  Mike Blakemore, Janet Murray, Louis Rado, Ritula Shah, Jon Snow

Al Jazeera (May Ying Welsh, Jon Blair) - Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark

JUDGES: Jane Corbin, Mark Galloway, Flora Hunter, Sean Ryan, Thomas Schultz-Jagow

Vanessa Baird, New Internationalist - Nature’s Defenders

JUDGES: Richard Horton, Maggie Paterson, Rod Stanley, Emma Tucker, Jenny Wood

Will Storr, Observer Magazine - The Rape of Men

JUDGES: Richard Horton, Maggie Paterson, Rod Stanley, Emma Tucker, Jenny Wood

Marie Colvin, Sunday Times - We Live in Fear of a Massacre

JUDGES: Jemima Khan, Iain Overton, Maggie Paterson, Michelle Stanistreet, Joel Taylor

ITN for ITV London Tonight (Ronke Phillips, Faye Nickolds) - Torso in the Thames

JUDGES: David Cornock, Helena Drakakis, Mike Gilson, Shabnum Mustapha, Naresh Puri

Mary Turner, Times - A Place to Stay - Dale Farm

JUDGES: Stuart Freedman, Colin Jacobson, Jenny Matthews, Maggie Paterson, Kelly Preedy

BBC Radio 5 Live Victoria Derbyshire in Guantánamo Bay (Louisa Compton, Victoria Derbyshire, Rob Halon)

JUDGES: Jane Anderson, Mike Blakemore, Henry Bonsu, Mariella Frostrup

Amy Mackinnon, Glasgow Guardian - The Curious Case of John Oguchuckwu

JUDGES: Nes Cazimoglu, Sean Coughlan, Guy Gunaratne, Hannah Livingstone, Sophie Mei Lan, Yasser Ranjha, Hannah Shaw

BBC Newsnight (Amanda Gunn, Sue Lloyd Roberts) - Undercover in Homs

JUDGES: Mike Blakemore, Lyse Doucet, Julie Etchingham, Tim Miller, Mike Radford

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