We are delighted to announce that the Society of Publishers in Asia has recognised IRIN's outstanding work in the region with an overall win in the video reporting category and an honourable mention for our human rights reporting. Special mention to IRIN Asia Editor Jared Ferrie and IRIN Multimedia Editor Miranda Grant for their award-winning contributions.
Winner Group B, Excellence in Video Reporting: Why this Indonesian fisherman risked it all
Shot and produced by acclaimed German filmmaker Florian Kunert, this mini documentary powerfully captures the tough position Indonesian fishermen find themselves in. Fish stocks are depleting rapidly, putting pressure on them to find ways to increase their dwindling catches to feed their families. The easiest method is blast fishing, which they do by building makeshift bombs from plastic bottles filled with explosive powder scratched off of matches.
But blast fishing carries huge risks, both in human and environmental terms. It destroys the coral reefs that provide a habitat for fish, and exposes fishermen to mortal danger. Beautifully filmed in markets and villages, on the open water and below the ocean’s surface, this video provides a stark warning about the human costs of destroying fishing habitats.
Honorable Mention Group B, Excellence in Human Rights Reporting: Myanmar says Rohingya rape and abuse allegations “made-up”, despite mounting evidence
In the face of outright denials by Myanmar’s government, IRIN Asia Editor Jared Ferrie uncovered strong evidence that the military was committing atrocities against the country’s persecuted ethnic Rohingya Muslim community. His story juxtaposes the experiences of survivors against government statements, providing a historical record of both the atrocities and the attempts to cover them up.
As Myanmar refused to allow journalists near the police border posts where the accounts were emerging, Ferrie travelled to neighbouring Bangladesh. His vital reporting there revealed that the number of people who fled across the border was far higher than previously reported and directly challenged the government’s narrative. A spokeswoman for Myanmar’s leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, insisted that military operations had been conducted “with very much restraint”. And allegations of rape and ethnic cleansing? “Completely false.” With the evidence presented in Ferrie's story, such denials became impossible to believe.
(TOP PHOTO: A camp near Sittwe, Myanmar, seen in March 2015, for Rohingya displaced by violence in 2012. CREDIT: Sara Perria/IRIN)