Monday, February 22, 2010

CNN Int'l Honoured with George Polk Award

Second prestigious award for groundbreaking documentary

CNN International has won a 2009 George Polk Award in the ‘International Television Reporting’ category for its documentary, ‘World’s Untold Stories: A Forgotten People’. The award-winning documentary highlighted the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar (or Burma) and tracked their story of abuse and neglect across Southeast Asia.

The CNN documentary was fronted by CNN’s Bangkok-based correspondent Dan Rivers and produced by Kit Swartz, Kocha Olarn and Theerasak Nitipiched. The award will be presented to Rivers on, April 8th at a luncheon in New York City.

“To receive another prestigious award for this documentary is a tremendous reflection of the quality and depth of CNN’s reporting and the tenacity and resourcefulness of Dan Rivers,” said Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.

For ‘World’s Untold Stories: A Forgotten People’, Rivers travelled to parts of Indonesia and remote islands off the west coast of Thailand, where he uncovered shocking photos showing the Rohingya boat refugees being taken out to sea and abandoned by Thai military. Following a government inquiry, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva admitted these practices to Rivers in an exclusive interview and said he would bring those responsible to account.

“This story underscores all the reasons why I became a journalist,” said Rivers. “It’s about getting the facts and using those facts to engage an audience and make a difference.”

This is the second award for ‘World’s Untold Stories: A Forgotten People.’ In 2009, the Amnesty International UK Media Awards honoured the documentary in the ‘International Television & Radio’ category for, as jurors stated, not only breaking new ground in the investigation, but also securing a personal commitment from the Thai prime minister to intervene.

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