WASHINGTON, DC – Two Radio Free Asia (RFA) reporters were named winners of silver and bronze medals at this year’s New York Festivals radio awards ceremony last night. RFA’s Uyghur Service reporter Shohret Hoshur won silver in the international contest’s category of best coverage of an ongoing news story for his investigation into the enforced disappearance of Uyghurs after deadly ethnic unrest in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in July 2009. RFA Korean reporter Jinkuk Kim took bronze in the category of best human interest story for his piece on the mixed emotions of North Korean refugees who watched the U.S.-North Korea women’s soccer match in the 2012 London Olympics.
“So much of Radio Free Asia’s coverage strikes at the heart of emotions felt by people in difficult situations,” RFA President Libby Liu said. “Whether reporting on North Korean refugees watching their former countrymen and women compete in the Olympics or the stories of missing Uyghurs, RFA shares the personal stories that would otherwise go unreported.
“We are thrilled to be recognized at the New York Festivals again this year and hope this puts a spotlight not just on our work as a news organization, but also the people we feature in our reports.”
For the silver medal entry, titled, “Lost but Not Forgotten: Justice Sought for Missing Uyghurs,” RFA’s Hoshur interviewed the Uyghur families of 38 individuals whose whereabouts remain unknown after they were detained by Chinese authorities. They have remained missing without official explanation for almost four years since the 2009 riots in Urumqi. The three-part series, which named the missing individuals, led to the World Uyghur Congress publishing a report on the enforced disappearances and Amnesty International urging Beijing to disclose more information.
RFA’s “The Ties that Bind: North Korean Defectors at the Olympics” showcases 15 former North Korean residents who cheered for the team representing the country from which they had fled. Their feelings of homesickness were not for the regime but for the families and people they left behind. RFA Korean Service’s Kim interviewed the refugees who traveled to the town of New Malden, outside of London, to watch the North Korean women’s soccer team, which was defeated by the United States.
Finalists this year included ABC Radio National, BBC World Service, Australian Broadcasting Company, Radio France, and Radio Taiwan International, among others.
Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in nine East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors.