The judges chose Al Jazeera English out of a shortlist of five nominees for its extensive reach and impact on the general British public’s understanding of events in the Arab world. The judges felt that Al Jazeera English had risen to the occasion at a key moment in the history of the Arab world, with its journalists undertaking personal risks to provide an alternative perspective to the mainstream British media. The panel noted the 24-hour news station’s wide availability with the free to view UK channel reaching over 31.5 million UK households. The winner was announced at a ceremony held at Leighton House Museum on 14 April.
Receiving the prize on behalf of Al Jazeera English, Marwan Bishara said, “Al Jazeera English has succeeded for several reasons: it is financially supported so it can avoid commercial dependence or motive; it has the freedom to decide on its stories; and it has a backyard fertile with hot news.” Al Jazeera English will be donating the £5000 prize money to The Rory Peck Trust.
In addition to the prize, the winners were given a hand-crafted trophy exclusively designed by sculptor Adam Williamson.
The judges highly commended the Delfina Foundation for its vital work creating artistic dialogue between the Arab World and the Uk. The foundation was credited for its programme of residencies, artistic exchanges and related public art events.