The fourth International Media Awards were held at The Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall, on Wednesday 7th May 2008.
Journalists and editors from the Arab World, Israel and the UK were presented with awards in London for producing consistently balanced reporting on the Middle East.
The award ceremony was hosted by Lord Stone of Blackheath and Ms Dalia Salaam, and was attended by diplomats and senior figures from British and Middle Eastern media.
The annual award ceremony was launched in 2005 by the International Media Council, a body set up by the Next Century Foundation. This NGO works in support of peace initiatives in the Middle East. The award is in recognition of the vital role that the media can play in contributing to understanding, without which no peace process is possible. Each year the Next Century Foundation honours editors and journalists in this way.
In addition to the establishes Lifetime Achievement, Peace Through Media and Cutting Edge awards, 2008 also saw the introduction of the Breakaway Award, which is intended to encourage the emergence of new talent in resposible coverage of the Middle East.
The Peace Through Media Awards:
· Yehuda Litani, Editor of Al Usbua on Channel 2 Television, Israel and Columnist, Yedioth Aharanoth andHaaretz, In recognition of his tireless work for rapprochement and peace. Prize presented by Ian Black, Middle East Editor, The Guardian.
· Roula Khalaf, The Financial Times. In recognition of her high standards of reporting and the quality of her news analysis. Each winner was presented with an olive tree by Ms Annie Henshaw, Director of Olives Et Al.
Lifetime Achievement Award
· Bernard Josephs, Political Editor, The Jewish Chronicle. In recognition of his efforts to improve understanding of the Middle East as well as his work against disinformation and incitement to hatred. Prize presented by Rabbi Herschel Gluck.
Special Award of £1,000 for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting
· Damien Charton, France 24, for reporting during fighting in Gaza in 2007. Prize presented by William Morris, Secretary General The Next Century Foundation.
· Zeina Fayadh, Program editor and Presenter, ANB Satellite Television. Prize presented by Mrs Ibtisam Auchi
Cutting Edge Award
· Adel Darwish, columnist, The Daily Mail; TV commentator. Prize presented by Louisa Brooke, BBC
· Robert Tait, Iran Correspondent, The Observer. Prize presented by David Gardner, Financial Times.
· Mina al Oraibi, Sharq al Awsat. Prize presented by Mrs Ibtisam Auchi.
· Sharif Nashashibi, Arab Media Watch, Prize presented by Jihad Al Khazan Editor at large of Al HayatNewspaper.
· Wijdan Mahdi Ali Alsalih, columnist in Friendship magazine; freelance journalist based in Basrah. Prize presented by William Morris, Next Century FoundationTwo presentation of two awards was postponed until next year. The intended recipients were prevented from leaving the war zones on which they report:
· Mr Sami Abdul Shafi, Gaza Correspondent, The Independent and The Guardian.
· Saif Al-Khayat, Correspondent, Elaph, Baghdad.