Intrepid Reporters Honored for Unrivaled Coverage

Nov 12011

More than 600 media leaders and luminaries gathered at the International Center for Journalists’ Annual Awards Dinner in Washington to celebrate the work of journalists practicing the highest professional standards to make an impact on their societies.

ABC’s Christiane Amanpour received ICFJ’s Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism, honoring decades of her high-caliber work.

Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen presented the Knight International Journalism Awards to two Mexican journalists who track drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexican border and a Cambodian filmmaker who has documented atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Actor Robert Redford, in a written statement, called the film a “brave and profoundly important work” about an “unspeakably terrible time.”

The winners, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a videotaped address, “have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their profession and, through their work, have helped shed light on issues that were once hidden in the shadows.”

The dinner’s emcees were Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

The keynote speaker, New Yorker columnist and media critic Ken Auletta, urged journalists to embrace the digital age while also holding fast to their traditional role as story tellers and “intelligent agents.”

The Knight International Award winners are:

  • Rocío Idalia Gallegos Rodríguez and Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, reporters for El Diario de Juárez, who documented the rampant violence, poverty and fear that the drug wars have brought to their stretch of the border. Sixty-five journalists have been killed in the past decade of violence in Mexico, including two of their colleagues at El Diario de Juárez.
  • Thet Sambath, a Cambodian filmmaker and veteran reporter with the Phnom Penh Post who spent a decade tracking down and cultivating the number two man in the brutal Pol Pot regime. Thet Sambath sought the answer to one key question: Why did these leaders commit such atrocities?

To honor Amanpour, ICFJ’s Vice Chair Pamela Howard announced that the center will create a Christiane Amanpour Award for Religion Reporting. This award will be given to a journalist next year who has produced the most enlightening coverage of religious issues anywhere in the world.