Reading (UK) – The Martin Adler Prize recognises the dedication and bravery of local freelancers who have played a significant role in the reporting of a major news story. It is awarded in memory of award-winning freelance journalist, photographer and filmmaker Martin Adler who was murdered in Somalia in 2006.
Atex Chief of Staff, Lorren Wyatt, presented this year’s Martin Adler Prize to freelance fixers Ghassan Ibraheem from Lebanon and Al Mughira Al Sharif, a Syrian national. They were nominated by BBC news teams for their exceptional work in Syria. “After working in the news media industry for almost 40 years, Atex is incredibly proud of our association with the Rory Peck Trust,” says Lorren Wyatt. “Without people like Mr. Ibraheem and Mr. Al Sharif risking their personal safety in dangerous locations, some of the world’s most influential, true-life and revealing news stories would never see the light of day.”
Ghassan Ibraheem, from Lebanon, gave up his job in a Beirut business to become a fixer in October 2011. Since then he has freelanced regularly with BBC reporter Paul Wood and cameraman Fred Scott in Syria. “Ghassan’s bravery is extraordinary.” says Paul Wood. “He has to work carefully under immense pressure in order to report safely and maintain relationships in the most difficult circumstances. As a Lebanese citizen he has also been concerned for his own safety at home given the uncertain politics with Syria. He is simply the bravest, most resourceful, sensitive and safety-conscious fixer that Fred and I have ever worked with.”
Al Mughira Al Sharif was nominated by BBC correspondent Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway. A Syrian national, he was raised in Islamabad and moved to Istanbul in October 2010 to study and become a professional footballer. As a fixer he has encountered artillery shells, mortars, attack-helicopters, mines, checkpoints, gun-battles and fighter-jets, always operating calmly and clearly. “Mughira is still a young man, in his early twenties.” says Ian Pannell, “but he has handled the pressure and trauma of being on the frontline with remarkable maturity and boundless energy. When he is not translating he is making contacts and plans; organising food, accommodation, transport, who to trust, which routes to take, what is being planned, where, when and how. The pressures are immense and relentless and few are more deserving of recognition.”