Tuesday, May 24, 2011

David McKenzie's Documentary Wins Award For CNN International

David McKenzie's 'World's Untold Stories' feature has been awarded the Amnest International Media Award in the "International Television and Radio" category. CNN's press release follows.

CNN Press Release:
CNN International has won the Amnesty International Media award in the ‘International Television and Radio’ category for its documentary, 'World’s Untold Stories: Locked Up and Forgotten', it was announced at the awards ceremony in London tonight.

The winning half-hour documentary, fronted by CNN’s Nairobi-based correspondent David McKenzie, highlights the negligence and social taboos suffered by Kenya’s mentally disabled community, who live a life hidden away in slums and remote villages across the country. Devoid of medical care and therapy an estimated three million mentally disabled individuals are ostracized by society, concealed and locked away inside their own communities, often by their own families.

When first aired on CNN International the documentary sparked widespread debate, bringing the plight of Kenya’s mentally disabled to the forefront of the world’s media. This resulted in domestic and international human rights groups calling for government intervention. The matter was brought to the attention of the Kenyan government, who have called for change.

The Amnesty International Media Award jurors praised the program for “being moving yet constructive.”

“It's fitting that the Amnesty International logo is a candle because it is an honor and a privilege to be awarded this prize for a documentary that shines a light on the shocking state of mental health in Kenya and beyond."

"David McKenzie took an unknown story and brought it to the attention of the world, testament that hard hitting journalism can incite global change,” executive vice president and managing director of CNN International Tony Maddox said of the award. "It is an honor to have your journalism recognised by Amnesty International as powerful enough to truly make a difference."

The award is the World Untold Stories documentary strand’s second win in the ‘International Television and Radio’ category since it first aired on CNN in 2009. In 2009 the strand took the award with The Forgotten People for its expose of the on-going persecution of the ethnic Rohingya people in their bid to escape terrible privation in Myanmar, formerly Burma and in neighboring countries.

About CNN correspondent David McKenzie:

Since joining CNN, David McKenzie has interviewed many high-profile personalities and leaders including Nobel Prize winners Wangari Maathai and Desmond Tutu, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. McKenzie has won international awards for his coverage of the African experience and has reported from across the continent for all of CNN’s platforms. McKenzie was one of the first foreign correspondents to uncover the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and gain access to Sudan’s controversial oil fields to report on alleged pollution. He was also part of CNN’s award-winning coverage of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, where he uncovered the heartbreaking effect on Haiti’s universities and the religious tensions between Voodoists and Christians. He also covered the FIFA 2010 World Cup for CNN.

About World's Untold Stories:

CNN International’s award-winning monthly documentary strand World's Untold Stories showcases the very best of CNN journalism, with intimate, revelatory storytelling from across the globe. World’s Untold Stories: Locked up and Forgotten was produced by Mike McCarthy, Sheri England, Ingrid Formanek and edited by Earl Nurse.

About the Amnesty International Media Awards:

The Amnesty International Media Awards recognizes excellence in human rights journalism that makes a significant contribution to the UK public’s understanding of human rights. The awards celebrate the breath of reporting across different media and acknowledges the risks journalists often take while reporting on the stories that otherwise may remain untold. A full list of winners can be found at: http://www.amnesty.org.uk

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