The Voice of America won a gold and a silver award at the 2021 New York Festivals TV and Film Awards virtual ceremony on October 12, 2021.
VOA Mandarin language service journalist Ailin Li and VOA News Center executive producer Elizabeth Arrott won the gold award in the Human Interest category for their story “From China with Love: An Adoption Story.” The thirteen-minute story features a Midland, Michigan family who adopted three children from China with developmental disabilities. Two of the children were born without eyes. The dedication of the adoptive family, as well as that of the professionals supporting them, and a music therapy program played a key role in helping the children overcome their developmental challenges.
VOA Spanish language service journalist Jaime Moreno received a silver award in the Special Report category for his story “Walking without Borders” (Pasos sin Fronteras). Focusing on the ongoing Venezuelan refugee crisis, the piece contrasts the struggles of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring Colombia, with the generosity of Colombians toward the refugee families and the hardships they overcome on their journey.
“Congratulations to our winners, as well as our finalists on this tremendous recognition,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda López. “It is really gratifying that the New York Festivals grand jury members voted these two powerful stories into its very top categories.”
In addition to the two awards, the New York Festivals recognized six other Voice of America stories as finalists. The VOA News Center multimedia project “Americans and Guns” and the web report “Cycling their Activism” were finalists in the Streaming Documentary and Heroes categories respectively; the VOA Indonesian service and News Center collaborated on a TV package titled “Free not free: Papua Press” and was named a finalist in the Special Report category; the News Center video report “New York Paused” was a finalist in the Coverage of Continuing News Story category; the Africa Division’s television series “Startup Africa” was a finalist in the Best Nonfiction Series category and the News Center’s documentary “Turkey: Breaking the Silence” was a finalist in the International Affairs category.