Mukarram Khan Aatif, Voice of America’s (VOA) Deewa Radio
Aatif was honored, posthumously, with the Burke Award for his dedication to delivering accurate, honest coverage for Deewa Radio of a dangerous tribal region of Pakistan. On January 17, Aatif was attending evening prayers in a mosque near his home when he was killed by Taliban militants. According to VOA Director David Ensor, Aatif “had been threatened many times, but he refused to stop doing what he believed in.”
Karen Caballero, Radio and TV Martí
Caballero was given the award for her coverage of the “Lights of Liberty Flotilla,” a small group of boats with a mission to sail across the dark and hazardous Florida Strait to just outside Cuban waters to set off a fireworks display. The event sought to draw attention to the solidarity between Cuban exiles with those residing on the island and to human rights abuses by the Cuban government.
Sailab Mahsud, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Radio Mashaal
Mahsud is one of the most prominent journalists in the Pashtun tribal area of Pakistan and received the Burke Award for his coverage of events there. When Shiite pilgrims in three Afghan cities were attacked by suicide bombers in December 2011, Mashud not only broke the story, but was the first to identify Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami as the Pakistani group claiming responsibility for the attacks.
Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Korean Service
RFA’s Korean Service earned a Burke Award for its “proactive efforts and outstanding teamwork” in covering the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in December 2011. The Korean Service employed a 24/7 emergency staffing plan to report on developments taking place in D.P.R.K. and to provide perspectives from the international community, media outlets, North Korea experts, and defectors.
Mohamed Moawad and Lamia Rezgui Bourogaa, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks’ (MBN) Radio Saw
Bourogaa and Moawad were recognized for their coverage of the clashes in Libya for Radio Sawa. In one instance, Moawad was traveling on a boat between Misrata and Benghazi when it was shelled by Qadhafi militants. Despite such incidents, Bourogaa and Moawad continued to provide outstanding reports from the frontlines of the fighting in Libya, giving listeners eyewitness accounts as history unfolded in Libya.a