NEW YORK—The Burmese service was honored with a gold medal today from the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Broadcasting Awards for its coverage of the September 2007 “saffron revolution.”
“We are deeply honored to receive this award, which reflects the work of our entire staff,” Burmese service director Nancy Shwe said in a statement.
“Last year’s ‘saffron revolution,’ led by monks, was the second major effort for change in Burma. The first was in 1988, and at that time a leader was born. That leader is often simply called ‘the lady,’ but she is Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy and a Nobel peace laureate. She is currently under house arrest. This award coincides with her birthday, and I hope this will bode well for Burma’s future.”
Sparked by a sudden spike in fuel prices, Burma’s “saffron revolution” saw thousands of monks, nuns, and lay people take to the streets nationwide in peaceful protests demanding political change. A government crackdown led to thousands of arrests, beatings, and detentions.
Vietnamese service was also honored with a bronze medal for Gwen Ha’s coverage of a Vietnamese girl involved in the sex trade in Cambodia. Peter Zhong and Jill Ku of the Mandarin service and Bich Ha Nguyen of RFA’s Vietnamese service were honored as finalists.
“These awards are an extraordinary honor for Radio Free Asia, whose broadcasters work tirelessly under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions to bring first-rate reporting to some of the most tightly closed countries on Earth,” President Libby Liu said.
“In the wake of yet another great tragedy in Burma—the devastating May 2-3 cyclone—it means even more to all of us at RFA to have our work recognized and honored in this way.”
Founded in 1957, the New York Festivals honor the most original and innovative work in radio broadcasting from around the globe. All work is judged by an international jury of media leaders from 12 countries.