RT ESTABLISHES KHALED ALKHATEB MEMORIAL AWARDS FOR BEST JOURNALISM FROM A CONFLICT ZONE

MOSCOW, APRIL 18— RT is now accepting entries for the inaugural international journalism awards that commemorate RT Arabic freelancer Khaled Alkhateb, who was killed while reporting from Syria. Every year, on the anniversary of his death, RT will honor the most outstanding work by journalists reporting from conflict zones.

“Our colleague Khaled is a hero. He died in the name of truth. Every year, we will award courageous journalists whose work helped the world see the horrors of war,” said RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

“RT came up with a great idea to set up international awards for those journalists who risk their lives so that the international community can know the truth about what’s going on in conflict zones all over the world. Unfortunately, we don’t see the world becoming more stable. On the contrary, more tensions emerge, often turning into armed conflicts. In these situations, we need reporters, photo correspondents, and cameramen to give us objective information. We hear about the crisis in journalism all the time. But it is the noble work of the media professionals in conflict zones that destroys false propaganda and concocted political myths, about the situation in Syria and Ukraine for example. Unfortunately, the truth has a very high price – tragic and untimely deaths of our colleagues, journalists whose lives are taken by wars. We all share this sorrow,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

The awards ceremony will take place on July 30, marking the one-year anniversary of the death of 25-year-old RT Arabic stringer Khaled Alkhateb during shelling by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Homs, Syria in 2017. At the time of his death, Khaled had been covering the fighting between Syrian government forces and terrorists. In April 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding Khaled Alkhateb the Medal for Courage.

“I had personally spoken to the family of the RT correspondent who was killed in Syria. I spoke with his mother. She talked about the tragic loss of her son, shared with me how her life would never be the same after his death. But without a shadow of doubt, she knew that her son had chosen the right path. It was so moving, a truly amazing story. I wish all nominees and participants success in their field of work. I don’t think of these awards as a competition, but rather recognition of journalistic courage and valor, honesty and commitment,” added Zakharova.

The Khaled Alkhateb Memorial Awards for Best Journalism from a Conflict Zone will be awarded in three categories: Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Long Form, Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Short Form, and Best Written Journalism from a Conflict Zone. To qualify for submission, entries must have been published between January 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018. Submissions are accepted in any language, but video submissions should have English subtitles, and written works should be submitted with an English translation.

More information about the awards, including detailed entry requirements, can be found at https://award.rt.com.