Channel 4 News International Editor, Lindsey Hilsum, has won the prestigious British Journalism Review’s Charles Wheeler award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcast Journalism.
The presentation, made by Lady Wheeler, widow of the renowned foreign correspondent who died in 2008, took place at the close of the third annual University of Westminster/British Journalism Review media conference.
Lindsey Hilsum said: “Charles Wheeler was my role model and hero. I have always aspired to report in his tradition, and that’s why I’m overwhelmed and honoured to get this award.
“Charles once told me how much he liked our foreign reporting on Channel 4 News, so I also think it’s a recognition for our efforts on Channel 4 News to report foreign news in a way that’s serious but not solemn, as he did.”
Lindsey started her working life as an NGO aid worker, working first for Oxfam in Central America and then Unicef in Africa. In 1994, she was the only English-speaking journalist in Rwanda when the genocide started.
She has been with C4N since 1996, reporting from every continent other than Antarctica. She was in Belgrade in 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia, in Baghdad during the 2003 US invasion, and covered the Fallujah assault in November 2004. She has reported extensively from Africa and the Middle East, and from 2006-8 was the Channel 4 News China Correspondent, based in Beijing.
Most recently she reported from Alexandria and Cairo on the uprising in Egypt, and from eastern Libya on the 2011 revolt against Colonel Ghaddafi’s 42 year rule.
Past winners of the Charles Wheeler Award are Jeremy Paxman and Jeremy Bowen.
Martin Fewell Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News said: “Many congratulations to Lindsey for winning this award. It is a tremendous accolade and extremely well-deserved. Charles Wheeler was a very special journalist…so receiving an award in his name is also special.”
Lindsey was also interviewed in the Independent in which Media Editor Ian Burrell applauds “one of Britain’s bravest foreign correspondents.”
Only last month Lindsey Hilsum was named One World’s Journalist of the Year, for her reports from Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and DR Congo.
She beat off competition from Jill McGivering from the BBC World Service and Kathrin Hille of the Financial Times.
The judges praised her work as “story-telling at its best.”
They said: “This was a masterclass in challenging and provocative journalism. Her stories gave voice to the vulnerable and exposed the harm that comes from political spin and official corruption. Her work reinforces the notion of journalism as a force for progressive change.”
At the end of May Lindsey Hilsum gave a presentation at the Frontline Club about her career.
Lindsey was in conversation at the Club with Vin Ray, Director of the BBC’s College of Journalism, for the latest in their Reflections series of events which aim “to further debate about the craft and practice of journalism”.
You can watch Lindsey discussing her career, work and influences here.
Also nominated for an Amnesty Media award, Lindsey’s film from Congo saw her travel with the UN’s representative on sexual crime to hear tales from some of the 300 women there who were raped. The cameraman was Bruce Shayler, and it was edited by Louise Freeman, post-production producer Rob Thomson.