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  • Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Journalists cross cultural divide for Middle East Media Awards at House of Lords

    Journalists and editors from the Arab World, Israel, and the UK, were given awards for producing consistently balanced reporting on the emotive and polarised conflicts of the Middle East. The ceremony, which took place at the House of Lords on Thursday 9th March, brought together journalists from across the cultural divides of the region who were aware of each others’ work, but who had never been given the opportunity to meet before.

    The prize-winners of the Peace through Media Awards presented for distinguished contribution to the coverage and consideration of developments concerning the Middle East were:

    Mr Jihad al Khazen, Editor at Large, Al Hayat Newspaper, for his significant contributions to informed and enlightened debate in the Arab media throughout a long and distinguished career.

    Mr Danny Levi Rubinstein, Haaretz Newspaper, in recognition of his passionate engagement with Arab issues, and uncompromising editorial contributions.

    Mr Peter David, Foreign Editor, The Economist, in recognition of the consistently original, well-sourced, informative Middle East coverage of the Economist.

    Ms Caroline Hawley, BBC Television, in recognition of her sober, balanced and informative reporting from Iraq, and her sensitivity to local culture and concerns.

    Mr Salah Ali Sindi, Editor In Chief, Istithmar Al Arabia Magazine, in recognition of the consistently progressive and enlightened editorial policy of his increasingly influential publication.

    In addition to the main prizes, awards were given to up-and-coming journalists as investment in the future of quality reporting on the Middle East. The prize-winners of the Cutting Edge Awards presented for distinguished contribution to the coverage and consideration of developments concerning the Middle East were:

    Mr Mohamed Chebaro, Al Arabieh
    Mr Yoav Stern, Columnist on Palestinian Affairs, Haaretz Newspaper
    Mr Martin Asser, BBC News Website Correspondent
    Ms Mona Eltahawy, Freelance journalist, Sharq al Awsat columnist
    Ms Jane Kinninmont, Middle East Editor, Business Monitor International

    The Middle East Media Awards were launched for the first time last year by the International Media Council. The Chairman of the awards committee, William Morris, Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation, explained:

    "By publicly recognising the efforts of these editors and journalists, some of whom have put their careers and even their lives at risk through their commitment to reporting truthfully and responsibly, we hope to help raise the standards of reporting from the region. Although we recognise that the business of publishers is to sell newspapers, we believe that because of the suffering caused by war in this region, and the enormous influence that the media has in it, journalists have an ethical responsibility to reflect the true nature of conflicts, and to avoid reproducing cultural stereotypes and incitements to hatred”.