KURT SCHORK MEMORIAL AWARDS FOR 2007 HONOUR
MURDERED IRAQI WOMAN JOURNALIST AND GERMAN INVESTIGATION INTO ILLEGAL MIGRATION
London, October 11 2007 - For the second year in a row, the Kurt Schork
Memorial Awards have honoured a journalist killed in Iraq because of critical
Sahar Al-Haideri, 44 - a mother of four and contributor to the Institute for
War and Peace Reporting, IWPR, as well as Iraqi media - was gunned down in June
in Mosul after receiving death threats for a series of campaigning stories
highlighting the influence of religious extremists, especially in curtailing
the rights of women. Al-Haideri has received the 2007 Schork award for local
"Al-Haideri's investigation of the 'honour killing' amongst Yezidis was
exceptional," said Lindsey Hilsum, international editor and China correspondent
for the UK's Channel 4 News and a member of the judges panel. "There is a
passion to these stories, and I read them before the background notes, so did
not realise she had been subsequently murdered. It is unbelievably upsetting."
The 2006 Schork Awards recognised US journalist Steven Vincent, who was killed
In the international category, Mario Kaiser, a contributor to Der Spiegel, won
for his reporting on a young Mexican women's journey as an illegal immigrant to
New York. Kaiser researched the article by putting himself in the hands of a
smuggler in order to understand the hardships of illegal migrants.
"This is a perennial story, brilliantly retold and made new," said the judges
panel, which also included Raymond Bonner of The New York Times, writer and
commentator Mona Eltahawy, Brian Groom of The Financial Times and Christina
Lamb of The Sunday Times. "His resourcefulness and courage in committing
himself to the hands of a coyote [smuggler] were exceptional."
The Schork Awards, administered by the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund and the
media-development group IWPR, uniquely honour excellence and bravery in
freelance reporting from areas of crisis and transition. Established in 2001,
they celebrate the life and work of Kurt Schork, the former freelance reporter
who was killed six years ago in Sierra Leone on assignment for Reuters.
The awards, and a prize of $5,000 each, will be presented to Kaiser and
al-Haideri's husband on November 14, at a ceremony at the Frontline Club in
London hosted by CNN chief international correspondent and Schork Fund advisory
board member Christiane Amanpour. The evening will include a debate on the
challenges of reporting from the world's most politically problematic and
isolated countries - including Burma, North Korea, China and Iran.
For more information about the awards or to attend the event, contact Alan
Davis [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Further information about the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund can be found at
IWPR has established the Sahar Journalists' Assistance Fund to support IWPR
journalist participants in its training and reporting programmes around the
world; see www.iwpr.net/sahar.html