(PRAGUE, Czech Republic)
The Afghanistan-based correspondents of RFE/RL's Afghan Service, known locally as Radio Azadi, have won the 2009 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award. Mohammed Ibrahim Haroon, co-founder of Radio Azadi's Kabul Bureau, Abdul Hamid Pazhman and Hassiba Shahid received the award on behalf of their colleagues today during the Broadcasting Board of Governors' (BBG) annual meeting at RFE/RL's broadcast center in Prague.
Noting the risks faced by all reporters in "one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists," BBG Governor Joaquin Blaya recognized Radio Azadi's network of correspondents based throughout Afghanistan for their "enormous courage in continuing to deliver the news to their fellow citizens. They routinely report from the scenes of suicide bombings, and they conduct investigative reporting on issues such as narcotics, warlordism, and corruption."Anarkali Honaryar
, a 25-year old journalist and human rights activist who was selected in March as Radio Azadi's "Person of the Year," also participated in the award ceremony.
The David Burke Award is named after the first Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency and RFE/RL's supervisory body. The award recognizes courage, integrity and originality in reporting by journalists within the BBG's broadcast entities. A formal awards ceremony will take place later this year in Washington to recognize David Burke Award winners at the Voice of America (VOA), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN).About RFE/RL's Afghan Service (Radio Azadi)
Radio Azadi is the most popular radio station in Afghanistan, broadcasting uncensored news and information in Dari and Pashto for 12 hours each day. It is funded by the U.S. Congress and was launched in 2001 as part of an effort to build a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan following the rule of the Taliban.Related Link:Meet Afghanistan's 25 Year-Old 'Person of the Year'