HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud Bin Abdul Aziz

"It was inspiring and I felt very much encouraged that there is so much work being done to support the correspondents and the media who are delivering the good message that everyone needs to hear around the world."

Rachel Shabi, The Guardian

"My co-nominees were journalists I really respect and admire and whose high standards I really look up to so to be on that list to begin with was a huge honour. To have my work recognised in that way was just extraordinary"

Mahmood Al Yousif, Blogger

"Being in the midst of such high calibre people, learning from you, listening to you is an inspiration in itself"

The Awards

The International Media Awards is an annual awards ceremony held in London to celebrate high standards of Middle East journalism held by the International Communications Forum in partnership with the Next Century Foundation.

The Awards acknowledge journalists and broadcasters who, through the consistently high standard of their work, promote better understanding of the people and politics of the world. Though certainly not limited to the region, the Awards have historically had a special focus on the Middle East and South Asia.

This website was made possible with the support of the MBI Group and founder H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

The International Media Awards are held under the auspices of the International Communications Forum in partnership with the Next Century Foundation

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2013 Winners

Peace Through Media Award – Recognises the work of established media figures who have a positive impact on coverage.

PAT LANCASTER is the editor of Middle East Magazine. Pat joined a Fleet Street news agency specialising in the Middle East in the late 1970s. She has also worked for a Gulf government news agency, travelled extensively in the region conducting interviews for a selection of British andArab daily newspapers and magazines, and is the author of three books. She was the deputy editor of Gulf States Newsletter before joiningThe Middle East Magazine in the late 1980s, becoming editor in 1995. Pat purchased the magazine in 2011 to save it from closing down, and is now the magazine's editor-proprietor.

IGAL SARNA is a columnist for mass circulation daily Yediot Ahronot. As a feature story writer, he frequently visited the West Bank and Gaza, telling human stories about Palestinians living under the occupation. As an IDF veteran who fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973/74, he also has written harsh critiques of Israeli military policies and about the tragedies of war. Today he writes a weekly column in the widely read weekend edition of the newspaper devoted to commentary on various aspects of Israeli life. He began his journalistic career as a writer for the now-defunct cutting edge daily Hadashot. He is also a successful prize-winning author of a number of books.

WAEL DAHDOUH is the Al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza. He was formerly the correspondent for Al Arabeya channel – Dubai, in the Gaza Strip. Prior to that Wael worked for Iranian Arab Television (Sahar TV channel), Al Amal TV - West Bank -Correspondent, for Al-Quds Newspaper – Jerusalem, and for Al Etehad newspaper – Nasrah, and Al Watan Voice magazine - West Bank, as a Correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

Photography and Visual Media Award - given to photographers, or artists who have produced consistently excellent work in some of the world’s most war-torn regions.

DON MCCULLIN is an internationally known British photojournalist, particularly recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished. He is the author of a number of books, including The Palestinians (with Jonathan Dimbleby, 1980), Beirut: A City in Crisis (1983), and Don McCullin in Africa (2005). His book, Shaped by War (2010), was published to accompany a major retrospective exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, Salford, England in 2010 and then at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Imperial War Museum, London. His most recent publication is Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire, a poetic and contemplative study of selected Roman and pre-Roman ruins in North Africa and the Middle East.

Lifetime Achievement Award – is presented to a figure who has had a long and distinguished career in the media, and who has worked tirelessly for the promotion of better understanding.

BENJAMIN POGRUND is a South African born in the anti-apartheid movement who immigrated to Israel. He is very active in the peace movement (Yakar) and bringing Israelis and Palestinians together. He contributes to the Guardian and many other papers. He was previously chief sub-editor on the Independent’s foreign desk.

The Cutting Edge Award- awarded to journalists in recognition of their high standards of analysis and reporting, often in conflict situations

LINA SINJAB is a journalist for the BBC and has been the Damascus correspondent since 2008. She has reported from all over the county since the start of the regime's crackdown, including from the flashpoint city of Homs. She has an MSc in International Politics from SOAS.

NABILA RAMDANI is a French freelance journalist of Algerian descent, currently based in London. She is a columnist for many publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the London Evening Standard and the New Statesman. She is also a commentator for a wide range of TV programs including for the BBC and Al Jazeera. Her reports included exposing the Blair-Gaddafi meeting, and the assets of the Al Assad family overseas.

RACHEL SHABI is a journalist who has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Middle East. Her award-winning book, ‘Not the Enemy: Israel's Jews from Arab Lands’, was published in 2009. She has also written for the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New Statesman, the Independent on Sunday and Al-Jazeera English online.

The New Media Award - given to those who have fostered better understanding and peace through new media, including blogs and social media.

MAHMOUD AL YOUSIF is known to many as the 'Blogfather' and is considered to be the "father of Bahraini bloggers". He specialises in new media and is known for his liberal and non-sectarian approach. His blog is dedicated to critiquing the Bahrain government, discussing local and world politics, religion , society as well as his day-to-day life.

Breakaway Award - encourages new talent, either in mainstream journalism or in the fields of internet news and citizen journalism.

GEORGE BUTLER is a British war artist observing the situation in Syria on the ground. He studied Illustration at Kingston University until 2007 before he started his first project as a guest of the British Army in Afghanistan. Drawing has led him around the world and his work has been exhibited in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 2008, 2009 & 2010.

Award for Outstanding Achievement

RANIA ALATTAR is an Iraqi journalist for the BBC Arabic service. During Saddam's rule, her father and brother were executed for political reasons. In 2003, she began her career in journalism and broadcasting with BBC Radio in Baghdad. She later moved to another Iraqi TV station, Nahrain TV where she worked as a presenter and correspondent; her fields included politics culture and entertainment. During this time she presented shows such as the daily newscast, Baghdad Today, the weekly musical programme, Bayuna, and the cinema show, Nejoom. Tragically, her sister was accidently killed by American forces in Iraq. Alattar later joined Al-Hurrah TV in the US. She later joined BBC Arabic TV London for the launch of the station and remains its only Iraqi presenter. Her life and work were the subject of a two part CNN documentary subtitled an Iraqi woman leading a life plagued by tragedy.

The Council

William Morris - Chairman

William Morris is Chairman of the Executive Council of the International Communications Forum. He also acts as Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation. Formerly a journalist and publisher, William Morris has been involved in the Middle East for more than 30 years. He was Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Oman from 1991 to 1996, and became Secretary General of NCF on his return to the UK.

In October 2000 he helped set up a war avoidance team to carry messages back and forth between the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Hain and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. As Chairman of the International Media Council he has led press delegations to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Syria and convenes the International Media Awards, held annually in London.

He has led three electoral monitoring delegations to Iraq; the NCF is the only accredited international election monitoring organisation travelling extensively in the interior of the country. In recent years he has established the Iran unit of the NCF which produces regular confidential reports on the developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Adel Darwish

Adel Darwish currently serves as the Political Editor of the Middle East Group, based at the Parliamentary Press Gallery in the British House of Commons. An accomplished writer, he has published on a wide range of topics, from conflicts in the Middle East such as the Lebanese Civil War, to revealing secret support being provided to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war by the US Navy and US Air force. Alongside his responsibilities with the Middle East Group, he acts as a commentator on current affairs for numerous media groups, such as the BBC in the United Kingdom, and CNN in the United States.

In addition to his political commentary, he is a published author of multiple investigative books centred on the political conflicts of the past, and the possible resource conflicts of the future.

Bernard J. Margueritte

Currently President of the International Communications Forum since 2001 having originally served for five years as Vice-President.

Margueritte has been a prominent figure in Eastern European journalism for over 40 years. In an extensive career, Margueritte has corresponded from Warsaw for Le Monde, Le Figaro, Ouest-France, La Cinq as well as radio stations Europe 1 and Radio Suisse Romande. Since 1989, he has been a regular contributor to both Polish television, radio and print media, with appearances on the popular television program “Blizej Swiata” (Closer to the World) as well as a regular column for Tygodnik Solidarność.

In addition to his journalistic activity, Margueritte has conducted research at Harvard University as well as lectured at the University of South Carolina and the Lubin Catholic University (KUL). Between 2006-2007 he was also a member of the commission of the Polish Ministry of Regional Development.

Deborah Pout

Deborah Pout is a freelance journalist, consultant and analyst, specialising in Middle Eastern and world affairs. She started her career in channel 5 on Espresso, a consumer affairs programme before going on to work for David Chater at Sky News. She later became the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Sky News. She works a freelance Middle East reporter and producer for Sky News Australia and Channel News Asia.

In addition to her media work, she holds a Reuters fellowship at Oxford University.

Gamon Mclellen

Gamon McLellan started journalism in Ankara and joined the BBC in 1979 as Head of the Turkish Service, which provided uncensored news to Turkey following the 1980 military coup. From 1988 he was involved in broadcasting to Central Europe before becoming Head of the BBC Arabic Service in 1992. He retired from the BBC in 2004, after overseeing the Arabic Service 24-hour coverage on radio and online during the 2003 war in Iraq. He now divides his time between Istanbul and London, where he lectures on Turkish politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Born in Riyadh to the Saudi Royal family, Princess Basmah is the daughter of King Saud, and the granddaughter of King Abdel Aziz, the founder of the modern state of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Having risen to prominence through her brave and often outspoken journalism in newspapers across the Middle East, such as Al-Medina Weekly, Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram and Sayidaty English language magazine, she also has a successful track record as a businesswoman.

However, her main focus now is her humanitarian work. Through her company Inseed, Princess Basmah runs her humanitarian organisation, The Lanterns. Fulfilling the need for humanitarianism to be fresh, innovative and well-researched and supported by evidence, Princess Basmah established the Lanterns Research Centre, which together with the organisation’s media arm, underpins and guides The Lanterns’ operations as it works towards the goals of peaceful and popular reform across the world, and gender equality.

June Jacobs CBE

June Jacobs CBE is a veteran of more than 30 years as a peace activist, and former President of the International Council of Jewish Women. June rose to prominence as a founder and first Chair of the National Council for Soviet Jews, regularly leading missions to visit refuseniks in the 1970s Soviet Bloc.

June has become best known since that time as a strong advocate of Jewish women’s issues. As President of the International Council of Jewish Women, June represented the organisation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She remains involved today through her membership of the European Women’s Lobby and Women’s International Commission. June is also a member of the board of directors of the New Israel Fund. She is currently also a member of the Black Jewish Asian Forum, Life President of Jewish Childs Day, a trustee of the Kessler Foundation, and Vice President of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.

She is Chairperson of the Nahum Goldmann Fellowship Program at the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. as well as "Chairperson, Mishpacha" of this New York based foundation committed to the renewal and enhancement of Jewish culture worldwide. She is also Chairperson of the EJC Commission on European Institutions (Great Britain) and a senior Trustee of the Next Century Foundation.

Jacobs was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.

Ambassador Mark Hambley

Ambassador Mark Hambley has served in eleven postings in nine Middle Eastern countries during a 30 year diplomatic career, including as U.S. Ambassador in Qatar and Lebanon and as Consul General in Alexandria and in Jeddah. He has also acted as Special Representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, U.S. Representative to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, and Special Negotiator on Climate Change during the Clinton and early months of the Bush administrations.

In March 2003, Ambassador Hambley was appointed director of the US Media Outreach Center in London, established by Congress to improve dialogue with the Arab media. He left full time service with the U.S. Government in 2005 but still undertakes special commissions on an ad hoc basis.

In 2005 Ambassador Hambley became a senior Trustee of the Next Century Foundation. In this capacity he has undertaken two missions to date, one to Red Zone Baghdad to facilitate negotiations with His Eminence Abdul Aziz al Hakim, and the other to Jerusalem during the 2006 Lebanon War to work on the Syrian peace track.

Michael Binyon OBE

Michael Binyon is a Leader Writer for The Times, where he previously served as Diplomatic Editor. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he spent a year teaching in Minsk for the British Council, before joining The Times Educational Supplement in 1968. He then moved to the BBC Arabic Service before, in 1972, he joined The Times as a foreign correspondent.

He covered the Middle East War in 1973, has worked for The Times in Moscow, Bonn, Washington and Brussels, and became Diplomatic Editor in 1991. He is a frequent broadcaster on the BBC and overseas television stations and has won two British press awards. He has also published a book entitled Life inRussia(1984). Binyon was awarded the OBE in 2000.

2013 Film




Introduction to the ceremony






Introductory Speeches and Memorial






Pat Lancaster winning a Peace Through Media Award






Ygal Sarna winning a Peace Through Media Award






Benjamin Pogrund winning the Lifetime Achievement Award






Rachel Shabi winning a Cutting Edge Award






Nabila Ramdani winning a Cutting Edge Award






Lina Sinjab winning a Cutting Edge Award






Don McCullin winning the Photography Award






George Butler winning the Breakaway Award




Rania Al Attar winning the Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Award




Wael Dahdouh winning a Peace Through Media award




Mahmood Al Yousif winning the Outstanding Contribution to New Media Award




Interviews from the awards