Channel 4 doco ‘Sri Lanka’s killing fields’ scoops two Media Awards


Documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, along with Jamal Osman’s reporting from Somalia, won the awards for the channel

Jon Snow

Channel 4 documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, which at the time was described by presenter Jon Snow as “one of the most important” stories he had ever reported, collected two prizes at the One World Media Awards last night.

The programme, which prompted calls from the UK Foreign Office for an independent investigation of alleged war crimes during the 2009 military operation in Sri Lanka, was named the winner of both the documentary award and television award.

The awards, which recognise quality reporting of foreign affairs and the developing world, also named Channel 4′s Jamal Osman as Journalist of the Year, for his work reporting from Somalia.

“Osman’s winning submissions included a report about a Somalian runner determined to compete in the London Olympics which highlighted some of the difficulties of daily life in Mogadishu, coverage of the drought in south-central Somalia for which he followed the plight of one extended family, and sensitive, on-camera interviews with people who have lived through incredible hardship,” a release said.

“The jury praised Osman’s use of imaginative storytelling and packaging to convey complex themes, often finding vivid individual stories to illuminate his reports and bringing international attention to bear on a range of issues affecting an important but under-reported part of the world.”

The BBC picked up two awards on the night, with BBC Two receiving the Popular Features Award for “Toughest Place to be a Binman” and the BBC World Service collecting the Radio Award for “Assignment – Haiti Cholera Epidemic”.

Will Storr’s feature “The Rape of Men in Uganda” published in the Observer Magazine won the Press Award, with the jury describing his submission as “investigative journalism at its best”.

Guardian journalist Jack Shenker was named the print winner of the News Award, for his report on “the plight of migrants trying to reach Lampedusa”. ITV1 News was named the broadcaster winner of the same award for its coverage of “the Somalian famine from Hagadera Hospital”.

A full list of winners is below:

Journalist of the Year Award

Jamal Osman – Channel 4

Radio Award

Assignment – Haiti Cholera Epidemic – BBC World Service

Television Award

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – Channel 4

Press Award

The Rape of Men – Observer Magazine

New Media Award

Our Africa – SOS Children

Drama Award

Otelo Burning – Cinga Productions

Popular Features Award

Toughest Place to be a Binman – BBC Two

Sustainable Development Award

There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho – On the Level Productions

News Award

Aircraft carrier left us to die, say migrants – The Guardian

Hagadera Hospital – ITV News on ITV1

Documentary Award

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – Channel 4

Student Award

Bagong Silang – Zena Merton, London College of Communication

Special Award

Gem TV

Children’s Rights Award

Africa Investigates: Spell of the Albino – Al Jazeera English

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