Tristan McConnell – ‘Close Your Eyes and Pretend to be Dead’, Foreign Policy
Tristan McConnell is a foreign correspondent living in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2004 he has reported from across the African continent frequently covering conflicts and crises in countries such as Somalia, the Sudans, DR Congo and Mali.
Judges: Tristan’s detailed investigation into the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya had a clean and powerful narrative.
Umer Ali – ‘Junaid Hafeez: condemned forever?’, Dawn
Umer Ali is a freelance journalist based in Pakistan. He covers human rights, social issues, terrorism and more. He’s currently working with News Deeply, covering the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and with local papers to cover a range of issues – from blasphemy cases to LGBT issues.
Judges: Umer tells the poignant tale of a university scholar accused under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. His report was made with compassion and clarity.
Jack Losh – ‘Inside Rebel-Held Ukraine’s Palaces of Propaganda’, Vice News
Jack Losh is a British freelance journalist, documenting life and conflict in eastern Ukraine and beyond, from the front line to the humanitarian crisis.
Judges: This is an unusual and revealing portrayal of living and working in rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Ayman Oghanna & Warzer Jaff – ‘Fighting the Islamic State with Iraq’s Golden Division: The Road to Fallujah’, Vice News
Ayman Oghanna is a journalist and photographer working in the Middle East. Warzer Jaff is a Kurdish-American photojournalist and cameraman based in New York City.
Judges: This was great combat footage, well shot and competently managed on the ground, and it took the viewer through a new front in the war against IS. It helped us with a number of questions – why did the Iraqi forces suffer so badly in their early attempts to take on IS, why the Islamists had traction in local villages, and how difficult it will be to remove them. It had good material throughout, and was confidently edited.
Feras Kilani – ‘Battle of Benghazi’, BBC Arabic
Feras Kilani is a BBC Journalist, covering Middle East, specialised in Syria and Libya.
Judges: Feras Kilani has shown a real commitment to the Libya story since the uprising in 2011 and total integrity in reporting it. For this film, he penetrates the chaos of Benghazi, the city that gave birth to the Libyan uprising but is now torn apart by ISIS and other warring militias. Kilani moves with the Libyan army – which is itself showing signs of fracturing – as it fights to reclaim control. Libya is a complex story that is often lost in the news, but Kilani and BBC Arabic have shown bravery and integrity in their consistently excellent reporting of it.
Phil Rees – ‘Al Jazeera Investigates – Genocide Agenda’, Al Jazeera
After 23 years as a senior producer and correspondent with the BBC, Phil is now the Manager of Investigative Journalism at al Jazeera Media Network.
Judges: This presented complex evidence compellingly, with heart-breaking interviews, and some tremendous graphics. There were telling interviews with a racist Buddhist monk, and local officials which explained why things have become so bad for the Rohingya Muslims – facing vicious persecution. The programme took a three-dimensional view of the history of the conflict, with a nuanced view of recent history that was so much more refreshing than the usual binary tit-for-tat claim and counterclaim. Phil Rees is an experienced and accomplished journalist who has made a film in the best traditions of Frontline.
Nicole Tung – for her body of work in the Middle East
Nicole Tung is a freelance photojournalist from Hong Kong and is currently based in Istanbul contributing to international media publications including the New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal. She focuses on conflict and conflict related stories, primarily in the Middle East, and has been recognized by PDN, the International Women’s Media Foundation, PX3, the Society of Professional Journalists, and other organizations for her work.
Judges: Nicole Tung has shown sustained commitment to narrating the conflicts in the Middle East and her body of work on migration has been done with integrity and courage.
Paolo Pellegrin – ‘Fractured Lands: How The Arab World Came Apart’, The New York Times Magazine
Paolo Pellegrin was born in 1964 in Rome. He studied architecture at L’Università la Sapienza, Rome, Italy before studying photography at l’istituto Italiano di Fotografia also in Rome. Between 1991 and 2001 Pellegrin was represented by Agence VU in Paris. In 2001 he became a Magnum Photos nominee and a full member in 2005. He was a contract photographer for Newsweek for ten years.
Judges: Paolo Pellegrin’s work is an example of great engagement with a complex, and violent story over many years. It is work of high intellectual and visual integrity that is simultaneously direct, thoughtful and nuanced. The judges felt that the New York Times Magazine should be congratulated for it’s thoughtful and powerful publication of the work with Scott Anderson’s accompanying written essay that gave context to the current migration crisis.
Sergey Ponomarev – ‘Reporting Europe’s Refugee Crisis’, The New York Times
Sergey Ponomarev is a Russian freelance photojournalist best known for his works depicting Russian daily life and his work in Middle East including Syria, Gaa, Lebanon, Egypt and Libya.
Judges: Sergey Ponomarev’s work on the migration of refugees from the middle east was committed, powerful, thorough and well structured. In a crowded field Ponomarev’s work demonstrated sophisticated use of the medium and thoughtful storytelling.
Scott Anderson and Paolo Pellegrin – ‘Fractured Lands: How the Arab World World Came Apart’, The New York Times Magazine
Judges: The article shows reflection, perspective and context. It is reported, written and photographed to a very high standard. Both authors have reported on this story since the beginning with courage, intelligence, perception and élan. The judges also felt that the New York Times Magazine should be congratulated for it’s thoughtful and powerful publication of such work.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, ICIJ & the team of international journalists behind The Panama Papers
Judges: The Panama Papers was a product of a year’s work by over 300 journalists collaborating in 75 countries and analysing 4 decades worth of financial documents written in 25 languages. Using the latest techniques in data journalism to unravel how politicians, celebrities and billionaires around the world have squirrelled their wealth in tax havens.