Dateline video journalist Yaara Bou Melhem was among the winners at the 2011 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, which were co-hosted by Yalda Hakim in Brisbane.
Yaara, who's also current Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year, won in the International Journalism category for two reports on the Arab Spring. Freedom’s Call investigated Syria’s hardline stance against dissidents, while Bahrain’s Dark Secret looked at the violence faced by protesters in Bahrain.
"Yaara Bou Melhem showed considerable courage and initiative going into Bahrain and Syria in the early days of the Arab Spring – one of the biggest stories of the year.", wrote the Walkley judges. "Her strong entry highlights bloody repression in the two states, and the young journalist overcame considerably dangerous obstacles to provide reports ahead of many of her international contemporaries. Very gutsy, very daring!"
Dateline had three other nominations this year... video journalist Fouad Hady, producer Geoff Parish and researcher Melanie Morrison were also nominated for International Journalism, as well as the Television Current Affairs (less than 20 minutes) category, for Breaking Point. Their investigation looked at the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmad Al Akabi at the Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney.
And video journalist Aaron Lewis was a finalist for Best Broadcast Camerawork on his Manhunt! story, about the search in the African jungle for Uganda's fugitive terrorist Joseph Kony.
They were among nine nominations for SBS programs and staff, all chosen from 1,300 entries for this year’s awards. The winners were announced at a ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday 27th November, which was also screened on SBS ONE.
Follow the links above to watch the stories, and go to SBS World News Australia's special Walkley site for more about the awards, finalists and winners, including an interview with Mark Davis about his past Walkley win and tips for budding investigative journalists.
You can also read about Yaara's win for her stories from Syria and Bahrain in the UN Peace Awards.
On air: 27th November 2011