Burke Honors reporting in Korea and China

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The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has presented David Burke Awards for distinguished journalism to broadcasters Jin-Seo Lee and Laura Huang.

Given annually, the awards recognize courage, integrity, and professionalism displayed by U.S. international broadcasters pursuing accurate and balanced news reporting.

Jin-Seo Lee of RFA's Korean service was honored for reporting in late 2009 on the plight of thousands of North Korean street children who have been abandoned or separated from their parents.

Jin-Seo's investigative series, done at considerable risk, found that despite the best efforts of Korean missionaries, conditions for many North Korean orphans have been deteriorating. Some can be seen wandering the streets and train stations seeking food.

In his reports, Jin-Seo captured the voices of a number of these children, thereby humanizing their story as never before.

Laura Huang of RFA's Mandarin service was recognized for her 2009 environmental program "Guardian of the River Huai," the story of Huo Daishan, a photojournalist turned environmentalist, who conducted a one-man crusade to save China's third-largest river.

Laura told of Huo's often lonely quest to halt pollution and put an end to scores of "cancer villages along the beloved river of his childhood.

In his fight against a major industrial polluter, Huo was beaten and threatened. But over time, the publicity he generated shamed local officials and spurred local governments into action.

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