Brazilian Investigative Reporter and Indonesian Radio Pioneer Win Knight International Journalism Awards
Brazilian reporter Daniela Arbex exposed the abuse of rape victims and the mentally ill, prompting government reforms. Indonesian entrepreneur Tosca Santoso founded his country’s first independent radio network, providing news to millions in underserved communities.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s José Zamora announced the winners at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Zamora’s father, José Rubén Zamora, received the award in 2003 for his work as publisher of Guatemala’s El Periódico.
This year’s winners will be honored at ICFJ’s Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 9. Christiane Amanpour, the host of ABC News’ “This Week,” will serve as master of ceremonies.
Arbex also reported that 30 mentally ill patients had died of poor service at a psychiatric hospital. The local government issued new standards for the care of patients with mental disorders.
In yet another major story, she reported that drug traffickers had enrolled kids in schools to sell narcotics. In response, education officials added drug-education programs to the curriculum.
In Indonesia, Santoso founded the radio news agency KBR68H in 1999. He started with a team of seven, who produced 15 minutes of news for seven radio stations each day. KBR68H is now Indonesia’s largest radio network. Every day it transmits eight hours of news over 720 radio stations to 22 million listeners. For the first time, many Indonesians have access to public-service radio programs on topics such as good governance and human rights.
He also introduced toll-free phone lines and text messaging, allowing ordinary citizens to talk with decision-makers on the radio. Other countries, including Nepal, Russia, and Pakistan are replicating Santoso’s model.
Seasoned journalists and Knight International Journalism Fellows nominated the candidates. Members of the jury included ICFJ Director Joanne Leedom Ackerman, a novelist and former writer for The Christian Science Monitor; Jacqueline Barnathan, senior producer at CBS News; Nikhil Deogun, managing editor of CNBC; former Knight fellow Craig Duff, director of multimedia for Time.com; Bill Nichols, managing editor of Politico; Knight fellow Marquita Smith; ICFJ Director John Towriss, executive vice president of TMG Strategies; and ICFJ’s Barnathan.
The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. For 25 years, ICFJ has worked directly with more than 60,000 journalists from 176 countries. ICFJ offers hands-on training workshops, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to journalists and media managers around the globe.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.