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22.10.2008 General News

Anas wins Kurt Schork award

Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas of the Crusading Guide newspaper has won the seventh annual Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

He was named the joint winner with Mr Nicholas Schmidle, a US freelance journalist.

While Anas picked up the award in the local journalist category, Schmidle picked up first place in the freelance journalist category.

The two journalists were selected by a panel of international judges which included Ben Brown, BBC TV's Special Correspondent, Christina Lamb of the Sunday Times, Roy Greenslade of the Guardian and the celebrated editor of the Irrawaddy magazine, Aung Zaw.

The judges found Anas's expose of a complex cross-border human trafficking syndicate "fearless and compelling" and a rich example of “journalism that has brought about real change for the better".

The judges noted that as a result of Anas's undercover investigation and his collaboration with law enforcement, NGOs and other journalists, 17 Nigerian trafficking victims were rescued.

According to Mr Anas, "This award is not about the money; it is about the prestige and, more important, how it has rejuvenated me to aspire higher and higher to serve humanity. The fact that somebody somewhere respects what we produce in our little comers here is enough motivation for me."

Schmidle picked up first place in the freelance journalist category for his work spanning tribal insurgency in a Pakistan province to the depth and breadth of Iranian influence in Western Afghanistan.

The publication of his piece, Next-Gen Taliban, in the New York Times led the government to deport him and his wife from the country within 48 hours.

The judges "particularly appreciated the way in which he disaggregated Muslim fundamentalism. His mix of detailed information with historical context gives you a wonderful sense of being there".