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MOSCOW, JULY 30 — Journalists from Russia, the US, Italy, and India took top honors at RT’s Khaled Alkhateb International Memorial Awards 2019 for their reporting on the crises in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. The Awards, which recognize excellence in conflict journalism, were launched by the TV news network in honor of RT Arabic war correspondent Khaled Alkhateb, who died while reporting from Syria in 2017. 

The jury of the Khaled Alkhateb International Memorial Awards 2019 selected the best entries from 25 countries in three categories — Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Short Form, Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Long Form, Best Written Journalism from a Conflict Zone.

"The works we received shed light on conflicts that are taking place quite literally all around the world, from Latin America and Europe to Africa and Southeast Asia. Each entry is, in a way, a small step toward peace," RT Deputy Editor-In-Chief Anna Belkina said.


1.Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Short Form.

— Fausto Biloslavo (Italy), 'The Battle Of Tripoli'.

A series of reports from the Libyan capital focuses on the procrastinated standoff between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA). 

2. Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Long Form.

— Amitabh P Revi (India), 'Palmyra Ravaged By Daesh, A Bid To Rise Like The Phoenix'.

The video takes a look at the Syrian city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was turned into ruins by Islamic State (ISIS*). Specialists are putting together the remaining artifacts in a bid to restore the place as a tourist hub. 

— Anton Stepanenko (Russia), 'Raqqa. Life After War'.

The Syrian city of Raqqa, proclaimed the ISIS capital, was virtually erased during fighting against terrorists and air raids by the US-led international coalition. The film reveals the struggle of the locals who are fighting to stay alive in the ghost city. 

3. Best Written Journalism from a Conflict Zone.

— Kenneth R. Rosen (US), “After ISIS”.

A series of publications sheds light on the border areas between Syria and Iraq divided by a wall that was erected in 2018 as a line of defense against ISIS fighters. 

Judging was conducted by an international jury of news media professionals and experts on the subject of war and armed conflicts. Among them is industry veteran Tom Wragg, who currently serves as the Business Development Director of the Association for International Broadcasters. Tom began his career at the BBC, eventually becoming Head of Production for BBC News and Current Affairs. 

Other high-profile jurors included Eva Golinger, a lawyer, journalist and writer specializing in the field of international law and foreign policy between Latin America and the US, RT International correspondent Maria Finoshina, and RT Arabic host Salam Musafir. 

RT has also welcomed two of Russia's most well-known journalists as the Khaled Alkhateb International Memorial Awards 2019 jurors. War correspondent Evgeny Poddubny is a three-time winner of the prestigious Russian TEFI award for his work in Syria and Ukraine, while journalist and television host Irada Zeynalova has reported on some of the country's most pressing stories of the last twenty years, including the Beslan school siege, the Moscow underground bombings in 2004 and 2010, and the Moscow blackouts of 2005.

In its inaugural year Khaled Alkhateb International Memorial Awards 2018, received winning works go from Iraq, Ireland, and Singapore.

The 2019 awards ceremony will take place as part of the RT Media Talk - ‘Covering Conflict: Dimensions, Risks And Responsibilities Of Journalism In The Hot Zone’. The event will take place in Moscow on October 2 and will bring together leading journalism and media professionals, as well as this year’s Awards winners, to discuss recent developments in war journalism, impartiality when covering international conflicts, the role of AI in debunking fake news from the frontlines and more. 

Khaled Alkhateb was killed by an ISIS shell in the eastern suburb of Homs, Syria on July 30, 2017. At the time of his death, the 25-year-old Khaled had been covering the fighting between Syrian government forces and terrorists for RT Arabic. Later Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding Khaled Alkhateb the Medal for Courage, which was awarded to his family at the inaugural Khaled Alkhateb International Memorial Awards 2018. 

* a terrorist organization banned in Russia