Held in the art deco surroundings of the Grand Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly, Tuesday night’s Foreign Press Association (FPA) Media Awards proved to be a glittering affair.
Sponsored by Oman Tourism, Oman Air and Oman Sail, guests were treated to a “Taste of Oman”, a film showcasing all the country has to offer.
The highlight of the evening was the speech from Queen Rania of Jordan who was awarded the FPA Humanitarian Award. She accepted the award on behalf of her fellow Jordanians, whose humanitarianism is demonstrated in their openheartedness to Syrian refugees, which now currently represent one in seven of their population.
Awards went to journalists from across the world, many related to the coverage of uncomfortable truths from Syria. In this vein, the “Journalist of the Year” award went to Marcel Mettelsiefen for his moving Channel 4 documentary ‘Children on the Frontline’ following a Syrian family over three years, from the ruins of their life in Aleppo to beginning a new life in Germany.
Shortlisted for the “Travel and Tourism Story of the Year” were Duncan Staff, Channel 4, ‘The Truth About Cheap Flights’, an investigation into one of the major players in the travel trade, Flight Centre; Jack Shenker of The Guardian for ‘Welcome to the Land that No Country Wants’, reporting from Bir Tawil in the Nubian Desert; and Andrew Miller of the Economist, for ‘Down in the Valley, Up on the Ridge’ a feature about the Melungeons of Eastern Tennessee.
Jack Shenker was the winner, with the judges commenting that he “entwines an adventure story with the dynamics of so called no man’s land”.