First Annual SAIS-Ciba* Prize Algerian Exposé Takes Top Honors

"Inside Algeria," an extensive look at the difficult political situation in Algeria, won the first annual SAIS-Ciba* Prize for Excellence in International Journalism. In 1992 the Algerian government canceled upcoming elections when it became apparent that Islamic fundamentalists (the FIS) would win. The outcome has been a brutal 'civil war' between the government and religious groups resulting in human rights abuses by both sides. The 16-part series, written by Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper of the United Kingdom, combined on-the-spot reporting with analysis, historical and investigative journalism. His dispatches, which took great courage to produce, provided readers with first hand accounts of the brutal rapes, killings, suicide bombers and ambushes that have paralyzed Algeria as well as the effect of the conflict between 'Islamist' killers and military death squads on ordinary citizens.

"The SAIS-Ciba* Prize is intended to recognize outstanding journalism that enhances public understanding of important international issues," said SAIS Dean Paul Wolfowitz. "'Inside Algeria' is a striking example of reporting that draws attention to an important emerging issue and deepens the public's understanding of the stakes involved in that issue."

The SAIS-Ciba* Prize for Excellence in International Journalism is awarded to a journalist whose work in the previous year had the greatest impact in bringing to public attention a topic of international importance. In the 1995 competition, the first year of the prize, entries from 28 countries in more than 10 languages were received from print, radio and television media. Mr. Fisk's entry was selected by a distinguished panel of jurors who included Tahseen Basheer, former Egyptian Ambassador to Canada and official spokesman for Egypt under Presidents Nasser and Sadat; Nayan Chanda, deputy editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review; Maria Jimena Duzan, Colombian journalist, editor and author; John Hughes, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of The Christian Science Monitor; Bridget Kendall, Washington correspondent for the BBC television and radio news; Don Oberdorfer, award-winning former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post; and Paul Wolfowitz, dean of SAIS.

In addition to the $15,000 first place prize, nine "Certificates of Recognition for Excellence in International Journalism" were awarded to:

Norma Percy, Paul Mitchell and Angus Maqueen of Brian Lapping Associates for the television series: "The Death of Yugoslavia".(U.K.)

David Rohde of The Christian Science Monitor for his series of articles on Bosnia (U.S.)

Yevgenia Albats of Izvestia for three articles on Chechnya (Russia)

Tim Sandler of The Boston Phoenix for his article on "Africa's Invisible Slaves" (U.S.)

Leo De Bock of Belgian Public Television for the documentary "The Dammed"( Belgium)

Ginger Thompson and Gary Cohn of The Baltimore Sun for "Special Report: Battalion 316" (U.S.)

Waldemar Milewicz of Polish Television (News) for "Chechnya: Six Days of War" (Poland)

Salima Ghezali of La Nation for "Those Murdered Bodies" (Algeria)

Steve Coll and David Ottaway of The Washington Post for "Rethinking the Bomb" (U.S.)

Robert Fisk will receive the SAIS-Ciba* a Prize at a 12:00 Noon presentation on Tuesday, 04/16/1996 during a one-day conference that will explore the media's impact on international events and technological changes affecting the international news media. Another highlight of the conference will be the keynote address on international journalism and foreign policy at 11:00 a.m. by Richard Holbrooke, recently retired Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. The conference will take place in the Kenney Auditorium at SAIS, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.

For more information on the SAIS-Ciba* Prize or the journalism conference, contact Rod Coggin, SAIS Public Affairs, 202-663-5600 or Veronique Rodman, program coordinator, SAIS-Ciba Program, 202-663-5838.

For more information, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at the SAIS Public Affairs Office at 202.663.5626 or fklubes@jhu.edu.

Date: 
Monday, March 31, 1997
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Contact Person: 
Felisa Neuringer Klubes
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(202) 663.5626