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Journalism School Announces 4 th Annual Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism

Patrick Graham, freelance reporter for Harper's Magazine

The Graduate School of Journalism announced the winners of the 2005 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism for outstanding freelance and local reporting. This year's winners are Patrick Graham, freelance reporter for Harper's Magazine, Muzamil Jaleel, a reporter with The Indian Express, India, and Pawel Smolenski, a reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland.

These awards, underwritten by the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund and Reuters, are administered by the Journalism School and are given in honor of Kurt Schork, the freelance reporter killed in a military ambush in Sierra Leone while on assignment for Reuters in May 2000. The awards recognize reporting that sheds new light on controversial issues, including political conflicts, human rights concerns or cross-border issues in a particular country or region.

Each year, an international panel of judges selects a freelance journalist of any nationality covering international news, and a reporter covering local news in a developing country or nation in transition. In addition, this year the judges recognized a third candidate, Smolenski, for his courageous reporting in Iraq.

The winners will be honored at a ceremony at the Journalism School on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and will each receive an honorarium and an award.

"This year's winners showed extraordinary initiative and creativity while attempting to tell stories of how wars and internal conflicts impact the lives of everyday people," said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Journalism School. "Journalism as a public service was the Kurt Schork tradition, and this year's winners exemplify his legacy."

Juror comments for winning entries follow:

Patrick Graham , freelance reporter

Muzamil Jaleel, a reporter with The Indian Express, India

"The insurgency in Iraq is a mystery to many outside the country. At great personal risk, Patrick Graham, a Canadian freelancer based in Iraq, from November, 2002, through August, 2004, repeatedly visited rebellious tribal areas to meet and interview insurgents. His findings, published in Harper's Magazine, depict a nuanced web of people and groups resisting the American presence in Iraq. They turn out to be far more complex in their personal and tribal relationships and motives than the shorthand descriptions given them by Western government officials and journalists -- deadenders, criminals, Baathists, foreign zealots. And many do not seem to be in their last throes. For his courage, ingenuity and impactful journalism, Patrick Graham is awarded the 2005 Kurt Schork Award for a freelance reporter practicing international journalism."

Muzamil Jaleel , a reporter for The Indian Express, India

"Writing with courage, originality and power, Muzamil Jaleelreports from Kashmir, one of the world's most bloody and enduring ethnic conflicts. A native Kashmiri, Jaleel displays an instinctive feel for his subject but remains a detached and informed observer. His account of a single village, untouched by war, where the cemetery is filled with people who died normal deaths, is particularly striking. So, too, is his gripping psychological portrait of young fedayeen guerrillas who unexpectedly take him captive. The judges are unanimous in selecting him as a winner of the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism for local journalism."

Pawel Smolenski , a reporter for Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

"With re markable courage and insight, Pawel Smolenski ushers us into the back alleys and shadowy

Pawel Smolenski, a reporter with Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland.

mosques of Iraq, illuminating a world of  religious intrigue, grinding poverty, fear and anger at 'Mister Americas' who have ta ken control of the country. His is the view from the ground, and he presents it with an hypnotic subtlety that captures the labyrinth that is Iraq. For the originality of his work in portraying the most powerful man in the country, Ayatollah Sistani, and his commitment to understanding those without a voice, the judges gave a special recognition to Mr. Smolenski.."

This year's panel of six judges included: Lionel Barber, Financial Times; Julian Borger, The Guardian; Roger Cohen, The New York Times; Josh Friedman, director of international programs at the Journalism School; Steven Holmes, The Washington Post; and David Rieff, author and freelance journalist.

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund Advisory Board

Members are Sabina Cosic (chair), senior investment officer, The World Bank Group; Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent, CNN; John Burns, reporter, The New York Times; Tom Goldstein, professor of journalism, University of California at Berkeley and former dean, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; Richard C. Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Stephen Jukes, head of Bournemouth University's Media School (UK), and the Fund's Vice President; John Kifner, reporter, The New York Times; Anthony Loyd, author and journalist, John Owen, adviser, Dart Centre Europe and former news executive, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Samantha Power, 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner and lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; Chris Schork and John Schork, brothers of Kurt Schork; Richard Tait, director, Cardiff University's Centre for Journalism Studies (UK); Martin Langfield, Reuters bureau chief, New York; and Nicholas Lemann, dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Published: Sep 13, 2005
Last modified: Sep 12, 2005

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