WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2010) – Reporters from Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese Service and Burmese Service won gold and bronze medals respectively at this year’s New York Festivals last weekend. Both winning entries produced pieces exploring the issue of human trafficking in Asia. Additionally, broadcasters from RFA’s Mandarin and Korean services were named as finalists by the competition’s judges.
“The honors bestowed on Radio Free Asia at New York Festivals showcase the journalistic excellence for which our news services consistently strive to achieve in some of the world’s toughest media environments,” said Libby Liu, President of RFA. “Two of our winners reported on the trafficking of women and migrants in Asia, and we hope this recognition underscores the need to continue informing our audience and the world about this prevalent and nefarious issue.”
“We at RFA pledge to continue bringing accurate, objective news to people living in Asian countries that restrict and censor the press,” she added.
Broadcaster Khanh An of RFA’s Vietnamese service earned the top award in the category of Best Ongoing News Story for her three-part series “A New Form of Women Trafficking.”
The series, which aired in March 2010, documented an incident of a Vietnamese woman being trafficked to Europe. The series examined some of the local factors and people and their roles in facilitating the woman’s victimization.
RFA Burmese reporter Kyaw Min Htun won a bronze award in the category of Best Coverage of Ongoing News Story for his stories on the human trafficking of Burmese refugees and migrants in Malaysia, which aired from January to May of this year.
For his stories, the reporter interviewed ethnic Rohingya migrants, seeking asylum in Malaysia after being subjected to persecution in Burma. Many, however, once in Malaysia, faced exploitation by human-traffickers, abusive employers, and corrupt officials.
Park Songwu of RFA’s Korean language service, was a finalist in the NYF category of Best Human Interest Story for his four-part series on North Korea’s youngest defectors. The series focused on the difficulties and challenges these individuals face once living in South Korea.
RFA Mandarin’s Tang Qiwei was also a finalist in the NYF History category for her piece on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, which aired on June 4, 2009. The short audio documentary, which was edited by Feng Xiaoming, used interviews with many leaders, activists, and officials involved with or connected to the Beijing student-led demonstrations.
Radio Free Asia (http://www.rfa.org/) is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in nine East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media.
RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors.