Al Jazeera honoured with WAC’s Global Communications Awards
Washington DC - October 3, 2018
The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) today honoured Al Jazeera Media Network with the 2018 Global Communications Award. Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network, accepted the award on behalf of the network at a reception the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Dr. Souag also addressed the National Press Club as part of its Headliners Luncheon series.
The Global Communications Award was presented by James P. Moran, WAC-DC Board Co-Chair and former U.S. Representative from the 8th District of Virginia. The award honours organizations whose work aligns with the WAC-DC’s mission of facilitating collaboration throughout the international affairs community by developing informed geo-political insights and critical thinking with a global perspective. Reception attendees included members of the World Affairs Council Board of Directors and the National Press Club, as well as representatives of the government, diplomatic community, think tanks, academia and the media.
Following his award acceptance, Dr. Souag spoke at the National Press Club’s Headliners Luncheon on the importance of press freedom. He noted that the free press is under threat all over the world and discussed the various ways in which some seek to censor the media, including intimidation, incarceration and even violence.
“Because of what Al Jazeera has been doing, because it has been doing its duties, it has been faced with so many problems. Eleven of our reporters have been killed, many have been jailed, and hundreds have been harassed,” he said. “If journalists don’t feel safe, it is very difficult for them to do their jobs.”
Dr. Souag continued by encouraging journalists around the world to fight for press freedom, emphasizing the network’s commitment to defending it. “No institution in the world, no media institution or organization that defends the press and the freedom of the press can do it by itself,” he said. “We need to work together.”
He concluded by speaking about the future of journalism and how he is hopeful for finding new ways in which media organizations can collaborate. In spite of the challenges facing journalists today, Dr. Souag called on all media organizations to continue their important work. “Journalism is not a crime,” he said.
The Al Jazeera Media Network’s acceptance of the Global Communications Award comes on the heels on numerous awards and recognitions. Also this week, the network won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine for its documentary “The Ban.” Earlier this year, the network was honoured with the New York Festivals Best Television and Film Awards’ Broadcaster of the Year Award for the second year in a row, one of 39 awards the network received from the organization this year. Other past honours include eight Peabody Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and the U.N. Women for Peace Association Awareness Award.
The Global Communications Award, whose past honourees include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Geographic Society, is one of five awards that the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC presents each year, including the Global Ambassador Award, Global Education Award, Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award and Educator of the Year Award.
The WAC-DC, founded in 1980, is a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization dedicated to expanding public awareness and international understanding of global issues. It is part of a national network of 98 councils that reach over 20 million people a year through nearly 3,600 events, radio and television programs.