Vanessa Baird receiving the award with Helena Drakakis of The Big Issue.
We’re delighted to announce that our co-editor Vanessa Baird picked up a prize at last night’s inspirational Amnesty Human Rights Media Awards.
Vanessa won the Consumer Magazine category with her Nature’s Defenders published in October 2011. She traveled deep into the Peruvian Amazon to report on how indigenous peoples are fighting dams in their ancestral lands, and up into the highlands to report on fierce resistance to mining companies.
When she stepped up to accept the award, Vanessa thanked the Asháninka people for trusting her – despite being let down by journalists in the past – and told the packed auditorium why they had decided to do so.
‘They said their governments would not listen to them, but they did care about how Peru was seen by the international community.
‘That is why it is so important that we tell these stories.’
Gratitude to locals was an ongoing theme throughout a moving ceremony that celebrated both the bravery of the people fighting oppression and the press who bear witness.
Amnesty awarded prizes to many reporters, journalists and photojournalists who had covered the uprisings in the Middle East, with Syria featuring heavily.
The late Marie Colvin was awarded the National Newspaper award for her courageous– and ultimately fatal – coverage of the atrocities in the Syrian city of Homs.
The awards were a reminder of how important it is for journalists to continue chasing the stories that matter, and shine a light on human rights abuses across the world.