With entries from more than 50 countries, the competition for prizes at this year’s New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards was intense. Nevertheless, Voice of America came out a big winner, earning a Silver Medal in the category of Special Report for the piece “US Doctors Aid Syrians with Virtual Surgery,” a Bronze Medal in the category of Coverage of Continuing News Story for the documentary “Fire in the Land of Snow: Self-Immolations in Tibet,” and a Finalists Certificate in the category of Human Interest for the piece “Refuge Provides Happy Ending for Farm Animals.”
VOA’s silver-medal winning report on Syrian-American doctors examines how U.S.-based doctors use Skype to assist surgeons in war-torn Syria. The Central Newsroom’s Carolyn Presutti traveled to East Lansing, Michigan, to learn more about these special Skype surgery sessions. She spoke with Dr. Abdalmajid Katranji, a hand surgeon, who without ever leaving East Lansing, assists Syrian doctors in the operating room. Cameraman/editor Michael Burke was also credited for his work on the piece.
VOA’s Bronze Medal winner, Fire in the Land of Snow, provides a rare look into the wave of self-immolations in Tibet. The documentary, which was produced by VOA’s Tibetan Service, used footage from citizen journalists and interviews with protesters to tell the story of Tibetans who make the ultimate sacrifice to protest Chinese repression. Tibetan Service Chief Losang Gyatso, who narrates the documentary, said the award “is clear indication that VOA has the expertise to not only cover breaking news stories, but the depth of knowledge and understanding of its target regions to produce exceptional journalism in longer and more complex formats.” Special recognition goes to Losang, as well as executive producer Susan Reed Jackson and Video Editors Dondhon Namling and Amish Srivastava.
And VOA won a finalists certificate in the human interest category for the piece “Refuge Provides Happy Ending for Farm Animals,” which takes an inside look at an animal sanctuary in rural Maryland that shelters abused and abandoned farm animals. The report revealed how the 400-acre refuge has become a healthy, playful home for many farm animals whose lives were once in jeopardy. Julie Taboh, the correspondent for the story, and Adam Greenbaum, the cameraman/editor, were named on this award.
Considered one of the most prestigious media competitions, the New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards honor the best programming in the world in the fields of news, sports, documentaries, and informational and entertainment. This year's awards ceremony was held on April 8th in Las Vegas.