Gohar Abbas, a young journalist from Gilgit-Baltistan has won the prestigious ‘London Foreign Press Awards’. He is the Pakistan correspondent for Agence France Presse (AFP), a French news agency. Known as the “Oscars of Journalism”, the annual Foreign Press Association Media Awards ceremony is considered among the most prestigious ceremonies in the world.
Gohar received the award at the annual dinner gala held on November 26 in London.
Gohar has won the award for his feature “Heavan and Hell” https://correspondent.afp.com/heaven-and-hell under the category of travel and tourism story of the year. The story is about the barter trade between Chapursan valley in the northeast of Hunza District and the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan.
The young journalist hailing from Ghulkin village in Gojal Tehsil of Hunza District, said he felt excited and humbled. “It’s a proud moment for me to be standing among giants of the profession,” he told The High Asia Herald.
“I would have never made it to the remote Wakhan corridor if I were not from Gilgit-Baltistan and that’s what every youth of the region should keep in mind that our harsh terrain and high mountains teach us to be tough and hardworking,” he added.
Under the category of TV News Story, Clive Myrie, Durren Conway’s “Mexico’s Drug Wars” (BBC News); Quentin Sommerville’s ‘Raqqa IS Escape’ (BBC News), and Charles Stratford, Solayman Hossein, Anuaral Islam’s “Rohingya Women and Children Trafficking” (Al Jazeera English) have been shortlisted.
In documentary category, L ali Houghton, Nayrobis Rodriguez, Luis Del Valle, Poh Si Teng, Fiona Lawson-Baker, Gino Moreno’s “Witness: Surviving Venezuela: Smuggling Dreams”, (Al Jazeera); Fatma Naib, Petra Graf and Lynn Fergusson’s “Correspondent: The Cut: Exploring FGM” (Al Jazeera); Evan Williams, Eve Lucas, Patrick Wells’ “Myanmar’s Killing Fields”, (Channel 4 Dispatches) have been shortlisted.
Under radio/podcast category, veteran journalist Owen Bennett-Jones, Neal Razzell, Emma Rippon have been shortlisted for their story “The Assassination” (BBC World Service); Tim Whewell, Nick Sturdee, Penny Murphy for “Russia Jihadi Brides” (Assignment – BBC World Service & BBC Radio Current Affairs); Sahar Zand, for “Madness of War” (BBC).
Under print/web category, Stephen Bleach’s “The monks who stole my childhood” (The Sunday Times), Carole Cadwalladr for “Christopher Wylie – The data war whistleblower” (The Observer New Review), Amelia Gentleman for “Londoner denied cancer care: It’s like I’m being left to die” (The Guardian), Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo for “Massacre in Myanmar” (Reuters).
In financial/economic category, Barney Jopson for “Click to donate” (Financial Times), Ashitha Nagesh for “How debt kills”, (BBC Three); Cam Simpson, Gavin Finch, Kit Chellel for “Brexit’s Big Short”, (Bloomberg Businessweek) have been shortlisted.
Under Art and Culture category, Sophie Elmhirst for “From Game of Thrones to The Crown: the woman who turns actors into stars” (The Guardian Long Read), Suhaib Gasmelbari, Katharina von Schroeder for “Sudan’s Forgotten Films”, (Al Jazeera English) and Moni Mohsin for “Austenistan” (Economist 1843).
Under the environment and science category, Seyi Rhodes, Nick Sturdee, Jamie Wellham, Monica Garnsey have been shortlisted for “Unreported World: Africa’s Perfect Storm” (Channel 4), Tom Whipple for “How to edit a human”, (Economist 1843); David Shukman, Kate Stephens, Robert Magee and Dessi Ariyanti for “Living in plastic” (BBC World).
In travel and tourism category Gohar Abbas beat Fuchsia Dunlop for “Eating in North Korea” (FT Weekend Magazine) and Nicola Smith for “Danger in Paradise” (The Daily Telegraph).