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Martin Adler Prise Awarded To Three Gaza Freelancers

Thursday 19 November 2009.  Today The Rory Peck Trust announced that the third annual Martin Adler Prize is being given jointly to three Gaza freelancers who have played a significant role in getting news stories out of their country.

The Martin Adler Prize honours a freelancer who has told, or played a vital part in telling, a significant news story.  The Prize is intended to raise awareness of the value of the recipient’s work and help them progress their career.  The recipient can be a freelance cameraman or camerawoman, local journalist, producer, fixer or driver.  The Martin Adler Prize is in the gift of the Trustees of The Rory Peck Trust.
This year, the Trustees have chosen to jointly honour Talal Abu Rahma, Ashraf Mashharawi and Raed Athamneh. It is given in recognition of the enormous role they have played bringing stories out of Gaza, especially during last winter’s Israel offensive when the international news media were denied entry into the country.
It is intended that this Prize reflects upon all freelancers working in Gaza under difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Freelance reporter, producer & cameraman, Gaza

Talal has been a freelance cameraman, field producer and reporter for many years, working regularly for CNN and France 2.  During this year’s Israeli offensive, after securing his own family, he dedicated himself to reporting the information and shooting pictures from the Gaza Strip.
“Talal is a priceless commodity: a producer who is not only well connected, honest and way ahead of the curve, but is a journalist first and foremost. In this seemingly endless war, you would think that a man who has lived through constant Israeli bombings, through the blockades and sanctions, has endured the Hamas militant campaigns, and Fatah retributions, would have some axe to grind somewhere, would be coerced to spin a story to suit his circumstance - he doesn't.”
John Vause, CNN International Correspondent

Freelance fixer, driver & field producer, Gaza

Raed Athemneh has worked alongside many freelancers and international news crews, including the BBC, ARD, Al Jazeera English, covering breaking news and investigative features in the Gaza Strip for the past seven years.  The stories he has helped to produce have been broadcast internationally and have made the front pages of the New York Times and International Herald Tribune.  
“Raed personifies the finest qualities of front line journalism; courage, fairness, humanity, and an unblinking commitment to getting the story out to the world. He works at the highest levels of journalism, despite been raised in poverty and without the benefit of a formal education.  He works without a by-line, flak jacket or insurance plan.  He is truly one of the unsung heroes.” 
George Azar, freelance Producer/Director

Freelance cameraman, producer & director, Gaza

Ashraf worked for Channel 4 News inside Gaza as the Israeli Defence force first bombed and then invaded the strip in December 2008 and January 2009.
“Ashraf co-ordinated and produced our coverage from inside providing the programme us with the most compelling and high quality material of the fears of ordinary Gazans, their suffering and the aftermath of the military action.  On the third day of working for us Ashraf took a call from his family that his house had been hit and his brother was badly injured. He took the conscious decision to film the sequence of events as he returned home.”  Ben de Pear, Foreign Editor, Channel 4 News

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