It's been quite a year for navel gazing in the British press. Leveson is on the rolling news, on the morning news, the evening news, the front page, pages 2- 36 and all over the comment section.
This is news-news, hacks on hacks, editors on editors, the judgement of the judgemental. It’s been an interesting year to be in the media. The invisible scribes have learnt that they are mortal, fallible, and accountable even.
Alongside this saga, there has been concern with how events have been covered in the Middle East and North Africa. This media Guardian article pats Sky’s Alex Crawford on the back for leading the charge into a liberated Tripoli, leaving her envious colleagues in her wake. In fact there has been a renewed appetite for international coverage here in the UK this year. People have followed the unfolding events in Tunisa, Egypt, Libya and Syria with trepidation and excitement, with Al Jazeera English experiencing a surge in viewing figures as they were so embedded with the crisis.
There have been tragic losses too, as we were reminded of what a hazardous business reporting from a war zone can be. French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in the Syrian city of Homs, just last week – the first Western journalist to die in the country's current unrest.
Yet surprisingly perhaps, the most dangerous country to be a journalist in the world last year, was Pakistan according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. Seven journalists are known to have been murdered because of their work. Investigative journalist, Syed Saleem Shahzad, who investigated links between the military and al-Qaida, was an iconic case. With allegations of corruption continuing in Pakistan, his death was a particularly worrying sign, as freedom of the press and the openness with which journalists are able to operate, is often an acute litmus test as to the volatility of a country.
With all the hype around hacking, scooping, embedding, spilling and ethics, it feels an electric time to be calling for entries for our 21st media awards. The prestigious awards recognise excellence in human rights journalism, and this is a bountiful year to be looking at that.
We will be considering entries in 11 different categories, including a digital award, which recognises innovation in news delivery – such as the live blogs, and interactive graphics we have seen in abundance this year, putting us at the heart of the Square, in the midst of the action.
We're accepting entries now until the closing date on 1 March: enter online and spread the word!
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