David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award Winners Announced

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) announced winners of the 2001 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for stories about China, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

Award recipients are: Mary Arobaga-Reardon (co-winner) and Jeff Daughtery (co-winner), and Feng Ji, Voice of America (VOA); Zamira Eshanova, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); and Peter Zhong, Radio Free Asia (RFA).

Arobaga-Reardon, a reporter-producer with VOA’s Africa division, and Daughtery, a video photographer, earned an award for the television documentary, “Life in Nigeria’s Niger Delta,” a special report that explored how oil wealth is distributed in the Niger Delta region. While covering the story, the journalists were threatened and detained.

VOA’s Ji was commended for his work on the Mandarin service website, which he developed. He provided content and innovative features, such as English teaching material, audio inserts, and streaming video.

Eshanova, a broadcaster with RFE/RL’s Uzbek service, was recognized for her reporting of events in and around the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border from September 12 to mid-October 2001.

RFA Mandarin service broadcaster Zhong was honored for his program, “Investigative Report,” a weekly, 15-minute show that covers sensitive topics, such as corruption, AIDS, and labor unrest. The Chinese media excludes these types of stories.

Named for former BBG Chairman David Burke, the award recognizes courage, integrity and originality in reporting news within the BBG broadcast organizations. The award also commends broadcasters who display a commitment to the advancement of the cause of democracy and the free exchange of ideas.

“These stories brought light to people,” Burke said at an award ceremony. “The journalists showed courage, energy and ingenuity.”

Burke, the BBG’s founding chairman, was a longtime broadcast and news executive. He is a former President of CBS News and served as both Vice President and Executive Vice President of ABC News.

For more information, contact: Joan Mower (202.260.0167 or 202.401.3736) jmower@ibb.gov, or www.bbg.gov