Bangladeshi journalist Abu Sufian’s blog about extrajudicial executions and other kinds of injustice is the jury choice in the “Reporters Without Borders” category of this year’s BOBs (Best of Blogs competition), organized by the German radio station Deutsche Welle. It was was chosen from 11 finalists by an international jury consisting of bloggers and a Reporters Without Borders representative.
A reporter for the bdnews24.com website, Sufian exposes himself to threats and considerable danger to provide detailed investigative coverage of extrajudicial executions, a problem that the government denies and the traditional media largely ignore, although the victims number in the thousands. He won an award from a national journalists’ organization in 2006.
His reporting has included coverage of last February’s murder of husband-and-wife journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, which has prompted unprecedented protests and joint demands for justice by Bangladeshi journalists and bloggers. He is also campaigning for a “right to information” law that would force the government to be more transparent.
Life is not easy for journalists in Bangladesh, which is ranked 129th out of 179 countries in the press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders published in January. The editors of two newspapers were recently threatened with death and reprisals, privately-owned TV stations are harassed and the authorities did not hesitate to threaten journalists in March.
Our 12 jury members decided on the winners of the 2012 BOBs! After sifting through 3,200 you had a chance to choose the winners the BOBs’ User Prizes in 17 categories and 11 languages. And after an exciting month of voting, the winners have been decided, so go check them out!
In addition to the User Prizes, the jury of bloggers, media experts and activists also got shut into a conference room for a day to cure the best blogs, and campaigns and media project in the main six multilingual categories.
Blogger and journalist Arash Sigarchi was this year’s big winner, taking the Jury Award for Best Blog with “Window of Anguish,” where he writes about human rights, social and political topics about his homeland. Window of Anguish is widely read inside and outside of Iran for its objective view of current events. Currently in Washington, Sigarchi maintains close connections to many sources in Iran.
This year’s other Jury Awards went to:
Best Social Activism Campaign
Free Syrian Blogger& Activist Razan Ghazzawi
Special Topic Award Education and Culture
Best Use of Technology for Social Good
Best Video Channel
Kuang Kuang Kuang
Reporters Without Borders Award
Abu Sufian’s Blog
Our thanks and congratulations go out to all the Jury Award winners for their amazing and inspiring work. We’re looking forwarding to meeting you at next month’s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.