Al-Jazeera’s ‘Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark’ Receives RFK Journalism Award Grand Prize
(Washington – May 29, 2012) Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, announced Thursday that Al-Jazeera’s ‘Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark’ was chosen as the 2012 RFK Journalism Award Grand Prize winner. Executive Producer Jon Blair accepted the award on behalf of himself, writer and director May Ying Welsh, and field producer Hassan Mahfood at a ceremony held at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.
In his acceptance speech, Blair spoke of “the spirit of liberty, and equality, and human dignity” and how that same spirit infuses the “Aljazeera Media Network, as they pursue their mission to be the voice of the voiceless and speak truth to power.”
‘Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark’ turns its lens on the 2011 Bahrain uprising, in which an island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf rose up against its ruling family to demand democratic rights. It is the story of a people who broke through the barriers of fear and oppression, only to find their voices silenced and their struggle hidden from international audiences. Welsh, Mahfood, and Blair were among the only TV journalists who remained on the ground to cover the Arab revolution that was forgotten by the world.
“’Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark’ brings audiences into the midst of a fight for freedom that was kept out of the public eye for months,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. “Welsh, Mahfood, Blair, and Al-Jazeera have given us the clearest view yet into the dream of hope that lifted souls throughout Bahrain in 2011, and the crushing culture of human rights violations that answered it. The RFK Center is proud to honor this remarkable and important work of journalism.”
The RFK Journalism Awards honor those who report on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy's concerns including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action. Entries address the causes, conditions, and remedies of injustice, and give critical analysis to relevant public policies, programs, attitudes, and private endeavors. Since its creation in 1968, it has become the largest program of its kind and one of few in which the winners are determined solely by their peers.
“Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark” was chosen from among 11 award winners for the 2012 grand prize by the RFK Journalism Committee, chaired by Margaret Engel, director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports investigative journalists and photojournalists worldwide.
Cate Urban, Communications
RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights
Tel: 202-463-7575 X 234