Man at podium

BBG Networks Among Finalists in New York Festivals

Finalists for the 2014 New York Festivals International Radio Competition have been announced and four networks of the Broadcasting Board of Governors are among the honorees.

Radio Sawa is nominated for Best Coverage of a Breaking News Story for its coverage of the protests and clashes that led to the July 3, 2013, ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.  Radio Sawa’s comprehensive breaking news coverage from Tahrir Square and Alexandria, as Egyptian Army supporters reveled and Morsi supporters protested his removal, brought to life the scenes from the streets, but also included quotes from Egyptian Army General Abdel Fattah al-Sisti and reaction from the U.S. government.   The coverage also included a discussion with two university professors who looked at what the removal of Morsi meant to the North African country and the next steps.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda is nominated in the Best Special Report category for Mahtab Vahidi Rad’s piece entitled “The Execution Game.”  The story tells the tragic fate of a 12-year-old boy who unintentionally killed himself as he and his brother played at re-enacting a public execution. The piece conveyed the incomprehension and grief felt in the boy’s village and included interviews with two child psychologists about how witnessing public violence can affect children.

Radio Free Asia had five pieces named as finalists.  The network’s Cantonese Service is nominated for two awards. Best Investigative Reporting for “Born in the USA: Instant Citizenship on Saipan,” a report on the increasing number of pregnant women traveling to Saipan to give birth, eluding China’s strict one-child policy and guaranteeing U.S. citizenship for the child. The report won a Gracie Award earlier this year. The Cantonese Service is also a finalist in the Environment & Ecology category, for its series on food safety in China, “Poisoned at the Source: China’s Food Production up Close.” The series includes a video that went viral shortly after it was released – “The Making of Gutter Oil” has more than 2 million views on Youtube.

RFA’s Uyghur Service is nominated for Best Coverage of Breaking News  “Conflict Erupts with Eve of Eid Crackdown: Tragedy at Aykol”; the Korean Service is nominated for Best Human Interest Story for “Promise of Freedom: Across History and Continents”; and the Lao Service is nominated for Best News Documentary/Special for “Waiting for Sombath Somphone.”

Voice of America is a finalist in the Travel and Tourism category. Steve Ember hosts “This Is America,” which looks at a major issue in American life and society each week, and explores popular places across the United States.


New York Festivals, now in its 56th year, recognizes excellence in advertising and TV, Film & Radio programs. The awards will be announced in June.