National Geographic captured three prizes for international stories of 2012, the Overseas Press Club of America announced in New York yesterday.
The Associated Press also won three awards. Other news organizations winning awards included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, CNN, Harper’s, CBS News, WGBH, WBEZ, Bloomberg News and Agence France-Presse.
“Covering the world has never been more dangerous and that is reflected in the stories that were prominent in the awards this year,” said OPC President Michael Serrill, in an OPC news release. “We pay tribute to the men and women at the forefront of covering news around the world.”
National Geographic journalists were honored with these prizes:
The Ed Cunningham Award
Best magazine reporting from abroad
Recipient: Russ Rymer with photographer Lynn Johnson
Honored Work: Vanishing Languages
Citation: “When small communities abandon their languages and switch to English or Spanish, there is a massive disruption in the transfer of traditional knowledge across generations,” writes Russ Rymer in this subtle and moving investigation of the centuries-long decimation of tribal languages. From the 2,000 speakers of the Aka language in India to the Seri speakers of Mexico’s Sonoran Desert, who are bringing the language back after it dwindled to 1,000 speakers, to the growing number of Tuvan speakers in Siberia, Rymer’s report gives us a broad look across multiple cultures about the ongoing rescue of the world’s dying languages.
The Madeline Dane Ross Award:
Best international reporting in the print medium or online showing a concern for the human condition
Recipient: Mark Jenkins with photographer Lynn Johnson
Honored Work: The Healing Fields
Citation: Mark Jenkins has captured the breadth of human emotions, motivations, and coping mechanisms in his examination of how one country, Cambodia, has moved forward from the lingering horror of land mines. Many will think they already know this topic well, but Jenkins’ deeply researched and accessibly written report made the subject matter fresh and compelling.
The Whitman Bassow Award
Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues
Recipient: Peter Gwin with photographer Brent Stirton
Honored Work: Rhino Wars
Citation: We chose to honor the powerful National Geographic piece, Rhino Wars by Peter Gwin, with amazing photographs by Brent Stirton. The topic was enterprising and fresh (of the 3 submissions on African animals killed for horns, it was the earliest piece by quite a few months, with other media following suit). Finally, from an impact point of view, it helped lead to some of the worst South African rhino killers facing long jail terms, one rhino poaching kingpin getting 40 years.
The Overseas Press Club of America was founded in 1939 in New York by a group of foreign correspondents. “The OPC seeks to maintain an international association of journalists working in the United States and abroad; to encourage the highest standards of professional integrity and skill in the reporting of news; to help educate a new generation of journalists; to contribute to the freedom and independence of journalists and the press throughout the world, and to work toward better communication and understanding among people,” OPC says on its website.