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VOA Wins Three 2022 Clarion Awards

Can Afghanistan’s free press survive?
Can Afghanistan’s free press survive?

The Voice of America took the top spot in three categories at this year’s Clarion Awards, a competition run by the Association for Women in Communications, whose mission is to promote the advancement of women in the communications profession.

Two winning entries for VOA this year came from the News Center’s press freedom desk under press freedom editor, Jessica Jerreat. The desk’s summer and fall 2021 intern, Liam Scott, won a 2022 Clarion Award in the Student Written Original Material category for his three articles, Journalists in Europe, U.S. Face Harassment over Pandemic Coverage,” “How Social Media Became a Battleground in the Tigray Conflict,” and “China Media Directives Reveal Granular Detail of State Censorship,” that demonstrated his ability to take on complex subjects and make them accessible and engaging for VOA’s global audience.

VOA’s multimedia project, “Can Afghanistan’s Free Press Survive?” bylined by Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA’s Pakistan-Afghanistan bureau chief at the time, won a 2022 Clarion Award in the Online Media – Special Feature Section category. Published in May 2021, three months before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, this collaborative special project of VOA’s press freedom desk and VOA’s Afghan service, looks at the gains for Afghan media, particularly its female journalists, in the past 20 years and how a potential deal with the Taliban, that was in the works at the time, would endanger those freedoms.

The Spanish service’s four-part original series, “Floating Swarm,” which documents a Chinese illegal fishing operation west of the Galapagos Marine Reserve in Ecuador endangering its ecosystem, won the 2022 Clarion Award in the TV Feature category.

“I’m thrilled that VOA’s press freedom reporting was recognized by the Association for Women in Communications. This is a topic we continuously strive to cover,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “I’m also pleased that we are receiving an award for reporting on the illegal Chinese fishing operations’ negative impact to the environment. It underscores VOA’s multilingual reporting power that can tackle complex global issues and show why they matter to our international audience. In this case we connected the dots between China and Latin America, two regions from which we report and know deeply.”

In addition to the three awards, six other VOA projects were selected as finalists by the Clarion Awards judges this year. This is the highest number of Voice of America reports to date that have been recognized in this yearly competition.