Libyan Fixers win 2011 Martin Adler Prize, sponsored by Atex
14 November, 2011 - Reading, UK - The Rory Peck Trust today announced that Libyan fixers Suliman Ali Zway and Osama Alfitory will be the recipients of this year's Martin Adler Prize, sponsored by Atex.
Now in its fifth year, the prize recognises the dedication and bravery of local freelancers who have played a significant role in the reporting of a major news story. Suliman and Osama will be presented with the prize at the Rory Peck Awards ceremony on Wednesday 16November at London’s BFI Southbank, hosted by BBC's Mishal Husain and Channel 4's Alex Thomson.
Known by international journalists as the "A Team", Suliman Ali Zway and Osama Alfitory, found themselves in every corner of the country during Libya's revolution, helping journalists deliver accurate and ground breaking news. Both had made comfortable livings working in the construction business but in early February, when many young people in eastern Libya were volunteering to help visiting journalists, the two men joined the wave. Suliman worked briefly with an Italian television crew, and for reporters working for the Washington Post. Osama first worked with a New York Times Magazine reporter.
Weeks later, after many of the young Libyan volunteers had gone back to their lives, Osama and Suliman continued to assist international journalists, travelling to the front lines with Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker and Leila Fadel of the Washington Post, helping them uncover stories.
Separately, they worked – often voluntarily – for many of the world's biggest international news organizations, including the BBC, the New York Times, PBS and CBS. Working together they helped to probe allegations of a death squad in Benghazi and reveal the psychological toll of the war, among other stories.
Osama and Suliman's dedication and insight about Libya were so coveted by international journalists that they earned the nickname the "A-Team". Both are now journalists in their own right and have penned articles on difficult subjects for a new Libyan magazine, 'The Libyan'.
Many of the world's leading journalists have paid tribute to Osama and Suliman. Leila Fadel, a Washington Post reporter, said: “Suliman introduced me to his family and taught me about life in Benghazi. He tirelessly tried to help me understand what was happening in Misurata through phone interviews when we couldn’t get there.”She added: “Both did it because they cared about their country and wanted the stories, good or bad, to reach the world.”
"We are delighted to be presenting Suliman and Osama with this year's Martin Adler Prize", said Tira Shubart, Trustee of the Rory Peck Trust. "They have both played an extraordinarily significant role helping journalists from all over the world get the story out of Libya - the sheer number they have helped is impressive, as is their dedication and determination working, and living, in extremely difficult conditions. They absolutely sum up the spirit of the Martin Adler Prize".
As a partner to the media industry for over 38 years, Atex is honoured to support the Rory Peck Awards, the only competition in the world dedicated to the work of freelance cameramen and women in news and current affairs.
From the early Atex days of newspaper production systems to the recent development of the industry’s first end-to-end editorial, advertising and web content management solution, Atex has always believed its role is to help publishers efficiently provide news and information to consumers when they want it, where they want it, on any print or digital media channel.
Jim Rose, Group Chief Executive Officer, Atex, who will be attending the ceremony, comments: “Our decision to support the Rory Peck Trust is recognition that no matter how the production of news may evolve, news itself remains the same. It continues to inform; it continues to educate; and it continues to require dedicated men and women like those recognised by the Martin Adler Prize – individuals who must enter the news in order to tell it, regardless of the risk or potential for harm.
“Without these people on the ground working directly in harm’s way, some of the globe’s most influential news stories would never see the light of day. Atex is incredibly proud of our continued association with The Rory Peck Trust and our awarding of the Martin Adler Prize.”