Al Jazeera English Nabs Award

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Al Jazeera English has won the award for “Best 24 Hour News Program” at the 48th Monte Carlo Television Festival, officials said Thursday.

The award recognized Al Jazeera English’s “extensive international reach and efforts to dig deeper to give its international audience a richer understanding of the events that affect their lives.” Al Jazeera English beat entries from BBC News, Sky News, Lisboa TV and the Phoenix Satellite Television Company to take home the award.

Among the specific reports highlighted at the Festival were Nour Odeh’s groundbreaking reports from Gaza, where she brought the suffering of the Gazan people to life when she was caught in the middle of a violent street battle between terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah.

While shooting live in Gaza, Nour and her producer Ashraf Al-Amritti lost contact with the newsroom in Doha and were forced to rely on their mobile phone to continue reporting events as they occurred. Once the live video feed returned, Nour’s cameraman, Iyad Al-Dahdouh, filmed the continued fighting while coming under RPG and small-arms fire.  Following the broadcast of the fighting on Al Jazeera, both sides in the Gaza battles agreed to a ceasefire.

"For me, the award demonstrates the commitment of AJE’s staff to giving a voice to the voiceless, of telling vital stories that are not on the agenda of the western news networks,” the network’s managing director, Tony Burman, said in a prepared statement. “Whether risking their lives to cover the bloodshed in Gaza, to travel with a Taliban cell in Afghanistan or to tell the world the real story from inside Myanmar, where we are the only international broadcaster with a permanent presence, AJE employees are telling the untold story and are putting real people back at the center of the news agenda.”

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