The United Nations Correspondents Association

2015 UNCA Award Winners Group Photo

The United Nations Correspondents Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 UNCA Awards.

On December 16, 2016 the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) honored the winners of the 21st Annual UNCA Awards for the best print, broadcast and electronic media coverage of the United Nations, U.N. agencies and field operations. The Dinner and Awards took place at Cipriani 55 Wall Street in New York. Guest of honor UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon celebrated his final year at the UN. UN Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio, attended as the recipient of the 2016 UNCA Global Citizen of the Year for his work on addressing the effects of climate change.

(The biographies written below for each prize recipient are provided by the journalists themselves)

The Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize

for written media, (including online media)

sponsored by The Alexander Bodini Foundation

Elizabeth Neuffer Sketch Portrait

Elizabeth Neuffer, the Boston Globe bureau chief at the United Nations, died while on assignment in Baghdad in 2003. She was a model journalist who proved throughout her career that objectivity does not have to mean neutrality. She was passionate, courageous and compassionate, drawing attention to the forgotten places in the world and to the overlooked victims of war. She explored the forces that can ignite fratricidal and genocidal conflict and her work helped inspire the movement that led to the creation of the International Criminal Court. Personally, her colleagues in UNCA treasure her for her inveterate good humour, which counterbalanced her deadly serious explorations of the darker sides of modern history.

Joint Gold Medal Winners

Nilufer Demir - 2016 Elizabeth Neuffer Foundation Joint Gold Medal Recipient

Nilufer Demir

Dogan News Agency

Nilufer Demir’s perfectly composed photograph of a drowned refugee child on a Turkish beach helped change international response to the mass of refugees trying to reach Eu- ropean countries.

Ms. Demir is a photojournalist based in Bodrum, Turkey for Dogan News Agency. She cov- ered the European migrant crisis during the summer of 2015 and her photographs of Alan Kurdi became world news.

Short Links to Winning Stories

Martin Jay - 2016 Elizabeth Neuffer Foundation Joint Gold Medal Recipient

Martin Jay

Deutsche Welle, freelance

Martin Jay, reports daily struggle by Syrian refugees in Lebanon to survive, including burn- ing shoes to remain warm, as they face harsh living conditions.

Martin has covered South Soudan, Rwanda, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, and Afghanistan, working for over 30 years for CNN, Euronews, BBC and Reuters plus also print media. He is currently the Beirut correspondent for Deutsche Welle.

Short Links to Winning Stories

  • London mulls money, Syrian refugees contemplate survival:
  • Depression, mental illness endemic amongst Syrian refugees:
  • Child slavery primes Syrian kids to become sex workers when they grow up:
  • Lebanese camps expose the hollowness of refugee efforts:
  • Psychological toll on Syrian refugees alarming, many suffer from mental illnesses:
  • How David Cameron has betrayed Syrian refugees in Lebanon:

Silver Medal Winner

Ray Mwareya - 2016 Elizabeth Neuffer Foundation Silver Medal Recipient

Ray Mwareya

Global South Development Magazine (Zimbabwe)

Ray Mwareya combines original, humane story ideas to address themes of special UN interest with rich quotations from named sources and sensitive, compelling writing.

Ray is an investigative reporter covering female genital mutilation, trafficking of pangolin wild animals, fish plunder on Lake Malawi, and energy shortage in Southern Africa.

Short Links to Winning Stories

  • “Migrant mothers need our help,” say South Africa’s baby smugglers:
  • Four decades on, Germany’s Mozambican youth labourers are still waiting to be paid:
  • Widows without sons in Mozambique accused of sorcery and robbed of land:
  • Electricity blackouts darken prospects for Zimbabwe’s students:

Bronze Medal Winner

Ty McCormick - 2016 Elizabeth Neuffer Foundation Bronze Medal Recipient

Ty McCormick

Foreign Policy Magazine (Kenya)

Ty McCormick provides an unflinching focus on refugee problems and war crimes, some, witnessed and photographed courageously by the reporter, make his stories compelling. Ty is Africa Editor at Foreign Policy. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he has reported from more than a dozen countries, including Lebanon, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Central Afri- can Republic.

Short Links to Winning Stories

The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize

for broadcast (TV & Radio) media

Ricordo Ortega Sketch Portrait

Ricardo Ortega, formerly the New York correspondent for Antena 3 TV of Spain, was one of the leading Spanish journalists of his generation. His determination to bear witness first hand to what was happening around the world took him to dozens of countries. His war reporting from Afghani- stan, Chechnya, Yugoslavia and Georgia was especially notable and he had a reputation for honesty, independence, determination and courage shown, for example, by his skeptical coverage of the evidence for Iraqi WMD’s presented to UN. He was killed by gunfire while covering Haiti on March 2004.

Gold Medal Winner

Natalia Montagna - 2016 Ricardo Ortega Memorial Gold Medal Recipient

Natalia Montagna

Channel 10, Línea de Tiempo (Argentina)

The “Survivors” documentary by Natalia Montagna describes the devastating humanitar- ian crisis of the world’s 60 million refugees and displaced people and the importance of the UNHCR’s role in protecting them.

Natalia is an award-winning journalist and World Press Institute fellow. She covered the UNGA in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Since 2010 she hosts and produces Linea de Tiempo.

Short Link to Winning Story

Joint Silver Medal Winners

Anissa Naouai - 2016 Ricardo Ortega Memorial Joint Silver Medal Recipient

Anissa Naouai


RT provides an original document on the work of the UN General Assembly during numer- ous sessions to discuss its program of work and expectations.

Anissa Naouai is the host of “In the Now,” a digital political satire project and a senior political correspondent for RT International. She won the 2015 Best Anchor medal at The New York Festivals Film and TV Awards, and her show, “In the Now,” was a finalist for Best News Promotion. Her reports have taken her to over 80 cities across the globe.

Short Link to Winning Story

Sherwin Bryce Pease & Aaron Berger - SABC News Team - 2016 Ricardo Ortega Memorial Joint Silver Medal Recipient

Sherwin Bryce-Pease & Aaron Berger

SABC News, South Africa

In their report, Sherwin and Aaron show how the UN Charter remains the primary international document granting fundamental rights to women.

Sherwin (l) is a Correspondent and Bureau Chief for SABC News based at United Na- tions Headquarters in New York since 2002 and writes for radio & TV.

Aaron (r) graduated with a B.A. in Visual Media from The American University in Wash- ington DC before commencing his career in news broadcast at Feature Story News. For 8 years, he has been behind the lens and in the edit suite for SABC News UN.

Short Links to Winning Story

Bronze Medal Winner

James Bays Whitney Hurst - 2016 Ricardo Ortega Memorial Bronze Medal Recipient

James Bays with Whitney Hurst (Producer)

Al Jazeera English

James Bays covers the complicated process to select the new UN Secretary General with comprehensive analysis and insightful details about the world organization’s 193 governments.

James is based in Aljazeera’s UN bureau, covering global diplomacy, defense, and development issues. He also serves as a Presenter of Aljazeera’s ‘Talk to Aljazeera’ programme. Whitney is a senior producer at Al Jazeera English covering the United Nations and global diplomacy.

Short Link to Winning Story

The Prince Albert II of Monaco and UNCA Global Prize

for coverage of Climate Change

Prince Albert II Foundation Monogram

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation strives to act as an accelerator of projects and solutions for the environment. It promotes sustainable and equitable management of natural resources and places the individual at the center of its projects. It encourages the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main areas: climate change, biodiversity and water.

Gold Medal Winner

Amy Goodman - 2016 Prince Albert II & UNCA Global Gold Medal Recipient

Amy Goodman

Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman defies police harassment to report protests against the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota by native Americans, who believe the pipeline violates their ances- tral lands and damages the environment.

Amy is an award-winning journalist, investigative reporter, best selling author and one of to- day’s most respected pioneers of independent media. Goodman shares this award with the contributing producers Laura Gottesdiener, John Hamilton and Denis Moynihan.

Short Links to Winning Stories

  • Dakota Access Pipeline Co. Attacks Native Americans with Dogs & Pepper Spray:
  • Did the Dakota Access Pipeline Company Deliberately Destroy Sacred Sioux Burial Sites?:
  • Canine Expert Decries “Egregious” & “Horrific” Dog Attacks on Native Americans Defending Burial Site:
  • Attack Comes on Anniversary of Whitestone Massacre:
  • It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels:
  • Lakota Activist “Why I am a Water Protector at Standing Rock”:
  • North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued:
  • In Dramatic Reversal, White House Halts Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Under Missouri River:
  • Daily Show – September 06, 2016:
  • Daily Show – September 12, 2016:

Silver Medal Winner

Lucydalia Baca Castellón - 2016 Prince Albert II & UNCA Global Silver Medal Recipient

Lucydalia Baca Castellón

La Prensa

Lucydalia Baca’s articles highlight the long-running problems of Nicaragua’s agriculture that are related to climate change and to efforts to strike a balance between local and foreign products.

Lucydalia has over ten years experience in journalism, including the economic field where the coverage productive issues has linked her to the effects caused by climate change.

Short Links to Winning Stories

Bronze Medal Winner

Neil Marks - 2016 Prince Albert II & UNCA Global Bronze Medal Recipient

Neil Marks

Guyana Chronicle

Neil Marks reports that loggers do their best to preserve natural life and rare animals in the tropical forests as they cut down trees and process logs that will ship to buyers in New Zealand, Italy, the UK and elsewhere.

Neil started working in the media in Guyana in 1998, just after high school. Today, he works as the Sunday Editor at the Guyana Chronicle and serves as President of the Guyana Press Association.

Short Links to Winning Stories

The United Nations Foundation Prize

for print (including online media) and broadcast media (TV & Radio) for coverage of humanitarian and development aspects of the U.N. and U.N. agencies

UN Foundation Logo

The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. The UN Foundation builds partnerships, grows constituencies, mobilizes resources and advo- cates policy changes to support the UN’’s work for individual and global progress.

Gold Medal Winner

Samuel Oakford - 2016 UN Foundation Gold Medal Recipient

Samuel Oakford

VICE News, Politico

Sam Oxford reports on failure by the world’s great powers and the UN Security Council’s reluctance to end the deadly conflict and continued assaults on civilians in Yemen and to support UN humanitarian and peace efforts there.

Sam is a print reporter based at the UN in New York, where he was VICE News’ bureau chief for several years. He is an in-house reporter for and a contributor to IRIN. Sam’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Politico Magazine, the Atlantic and the Intercept.

Short Links to Winning Stories

  • Saudi Arabia Warns the UN and Aid Workers in Yemen:
  • Abuses in Yemen, America Stood By:
  • After Thousands of Bombs on Yemen, Saudi Arabia Is Freaked Out by the UN’s Interest:
  • Saudi Arabia Is Thwarting the Distribution of Emergency UN Aid in Yemen:

Silver Medal Winner

James Reinl - 2016 UN Foundation Silver Medal Recipient

James Reinl

Al Jazeera, freelance

James Reinl examines the developing world and UN work in fascinating details. Above all, he breaks the boredom barrier with the UN and makes it more interesting for readers.

James is a journalist, editor and world affairs analyst. He has reported from more than 30 countries and won awards for stories from Sri Lanka, Congo, Somalia, Haiti and Iran.

Short Links to Winning Stories

Bronze Medal Winner

Megan Rowling - 2016 UN Foundation Bronze Medal Recipient

Megan Rowling

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Megan Rowland’s impressive body of work covers the international development agenda in detail, making it relevant, refreshing and informative. The result of her work and that of her colleagues is rewarding and deserves emulation.

Megan Rowling is a lead writer and editor for the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s daily news site. A former Reuters journalist, she is a specialist in climate finance and disaster risk reduction efforts.

Short Links to Winning Stories


Alhassan Yushau

Africa News

(for his moving writings on migrant lives in developed countries)

UNCA Awards Judges:

Antonio Carlucci (L’Espresso)
Georges Leclere (LGMA)
Rory O’Connor (Globalvision)
Eric Porterfield (UN Foundation)
Chris Sullivan (Associated Press)
Ian Williams (Tribune London)