Finalist, The Rory Peck Award for News

Aris Roussinos (British)

February 2013, Mali

Gound Zero Mali: The Battle of Gao

Self-funded. Broadcast by VICE

Striking street by street battle footage from Gao in northern Mali as Malian troops attempt to storm buildings being held by Mujao Islamists.

Aris filmed the battle during a month-long trip to Mali. It is a rare piece of combat footage to come out of the war there. We see the Malian army's obvious poor training and lack of military discipline - as well as lack of equipment and tactics in a confusing and chaotic battle. At one stage, we see the assault team Aris is with coming under heavy machine gun fire from a friendly armored car. Eventually, when the French army joined the battle and killed the jihadists, it transpired that many were children.

Watch Aris's full report on


Aris Roussinos studied anthropology before becoming a journalist and filmmaker. He has since covered the Tunisian and Bahraini revolutions, the Japanese tsunami and nuclear crisis, the Libyan war, Greek riots, the coup in Egypt and the wars in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan.

In South Kordofan, he discovered the use of cluster bombs against civilians by the Sudanese government. In Blue Nile, he spent a month embedded with rebels. Aris currently works as a staff conflict reporter for VICE, and is writing a book about his experiences with rebel armies which will be published next year.

Judges Comments

"The power of his work is how close he is to the Malian army - he threw himself into the midst of the fighting and captured moments some of which are oddly comic for a war zone - we saw what a street by street battle in Mali looked like. It's classic war footage - fantastic television journalism - and it hardly needs any script because it is so incredibly well shot."