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Reuters Team Wins Asia Society Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia

Apr 23, 2014
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New York; April 24, 2014. Asia Society announced today that a team from Reuters has won the 2014 Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia.

The winning entry is a series of investigative stories about the “dirty war” against the Rohingya people of Myanmar. Reuters cited the work of Jason Szep, Andrew R.C. Marshall and team for reporting that “required extensive and often dangerous field work in several countries, including remote, rarely traveled areas of Myanmar and next-door Thailand.” The stories revealed the plight of the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim group, who have suffered oppression, violence and massacre, and chronicled the rise of a radical Buddhist movement.

The independent jury that oversees the prize selection called the Reuters reporting “truly courageous” and noted the “high degree of difficulty” in investigating and reconstructing the stories. 

“Congratulations to Reuters for reporting that was both gutsy and inspired and which brought an overlooked conflict to the attention of the world,” said Norm Pearlstine, Chief Content Officer at Time, Inc. and jury chair. “From a crowded field of applicants—our largest and most impressive group to date—Reuters stood out for their ambitious and extremely well-done reporting, and for often being the first to investigate the stories.”

“Asia Society is proud to recognize Reuters for its coverage of Myanmar's Rohingya people, and for fostering this kind of original reporting,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Through this world-class award, we seek to encourage in-depth journalism which builds understanding between Asia and the world. This year’s honorees truly represent that tradition of excellence.”

The $10,000 cash award, known as the Oz prize, will be presented at a public program and discussion on June 18, 2014, at 6:00 pm, at Asia Society in New York. Links to the stories follow:

Thailand secretly supplies Rohingyas to human traffickers
Thai authorities implicated in smuggling networks
Special Report: Myanmar gives official blessing to anti-Muslim monks
Special Report: In Myanmar, apartheid tactics against minority Muslims
Special Report: Buddhist monks incite Muslim killings in Myanmar

Jason Szep, 44, has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990. A Boston native, Jason has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston, Bangkok, and Washington, D.C. He won a Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007 for a series on Mormonism in America and shared a Pulitzer Prize this year with Andrew R.C. Marshall and a Reuters team for coverage of sectarian violence in Myanmar. He has recently been appointed International Affairs Editor, based in Washington and overseeing coverage of the U.S. State Department, Pentagon and the United Nations. Before that, he was Southeast Asia Bureau Chief based in Bangkok and Boston Bureau Chief. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election.

Andrew R.C. Marshall joined Reuters in January 2012 as Special Correspondent, Thailand, and Indochina. Previously, he explored Asia’s remotest regions for TIME and other magazines and newspapers worldwide, including The Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic, Esquire (UK), and many others. He received shared a Pulitzer Prize this year with Jason Szep and a Reuters team for coverage of sectarian violence in Myanmar and won three Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for Editorial Excellence for his reporting for TIME.

He is the author of two non-fiction books which have been translated into 10 languages. The Trouser People (Penguin, 2003 and River Books, 2012), about football and dictatorship in Burma, is a New York Times Notable Book. He is also co-author of The Cult at the End of the World (Random House, 1996), an account of Japan’s homicidal Aum cult and the rise of high-tech terrorism.

Citing the strength of this year’s applicant pool, the Oz Prize jury made a number of citations for reporting excellence:

-Associated Press team for “beautifully written” and “ambitious” coverage of Myanmar
-Ian Johnson, for “revelatory” stories on urbanization in China for the New York Times
-Alizeh Kohari with photographer Kohi Marri for an “astonishing” piece on the Indus and water management in Pakistan for the Herald magazine
-Jim Yardley, the New York Times, for “Made in Bangladesh” which they jury said went “beyond reporting”
-Wall Street Journal team for coverage of the Delhi rape case and crimes against women which the jury called “required reading”

About the Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia
The “Oz Prize” honors the late Osborn Elliott, legendary journalist, author and former editor-in-chief of Newsweek. Elliott was a leading figure in the field of journalism who became one of the earliest practitioners of “civic journalism”—the deliberate focusing of the journalistic enterprise on urgent issues of public policy. The Oz Prize is awarded annually for the best example of written journalism about Asia during the calendar year.

Previous winners of the prize are: Bloomberg News (2013), April Rabkin, Fast Company (2012), Keith Bradsher of the New York Times (2010), a team of writers from the International Herald Tribune (2009), Shai Oster of the Wall Street Journal (2008), Evan Osnos of the Chicago Tribune (2007), Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times and Matthew McAllester of Newsday (2006), Philip P. Pan of the Washington Post (2005), John Pomfret of the Washington Post (2004) and Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times (2003).

The Oz Prize jury is made up of Norman Pearlstine, Chief Content Officer, Time, Inc.; Marcus Brauchli, managing partner of North Base Media, former editor of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal; Barbara Crossette, UN Correspondent, The Nation; Dorinda Elliott, Contributing Editor, Condé Nast Traveler; Michael Elliott, President and CEO, ONE foundation and former Deputy Managing Editor, TIME; Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor, TIME; Richard McGregor, Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times; Carla Anne Robbins, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and former Deputy Editorial Page Editor, the New York Times; and Anthony Spaeth, Chief Editor, Korea JoongAng Daily.

Find out more about the Oz Prize at AsiaSociety.org/ozprize

About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. The Society seeks to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution, with major cultural centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Shanghai, Seoul, Sydney and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit AsiaSociety.org.

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