WASHINGTON, DC – Radio Free Asia (RFA) Korean service broadcaster John Hyun-Ki Lee won a gold medal and RFA Mandarin service broadcasters Zhang Min and April Wang were named finalists at this year's New York Festivals (NYF).
"Radio Free Asia delivers trustworthy, informative news and information to millions living in closed societies," said Dan Southerland, Executive Editor for RFA. "For RFA's broadcasters and services, this high recognition at the New York Festivals encourages us to build on our efforts to fulfill an important mission."
Information about RFA's winner and finalists, and their entries follows.
RFA Korean service broadcaster John Hyun-Ki Lee won a gold medal in the NYF category of Human Relations for his piece "New Year Celebrations Thousands of Miles from Home." Lee interviewed North Korean defectors living in Virginia, New York, Australia, and Canada as they reminisced about their families, friends, and lives they left behind. The program was aired on Feb. 4, the day after the Korean diaspora marked the new lunar year, with the hope that long-lost relatives of these defectors would be able to listen.
RFA broadcaster Zhang Min of the Mandarin service was named a finalist in the category of Best Human Interest Story for her piece titled, "Blind Barefoot Lawyer Freed but not Free." For the story, which aired on Sept. 9, 2010, Zhang was able to get an exclusive telephone interview with freed Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng on the day of his release from prison. Despite international concerns, Chen remains under virtual house arrest with little access to the outside world.
RFA Mandarin service broadcaster April Wang's series "One Hundred Million People Shunned: The Stigma and the Reality of Hepatitis B in China" also earned recognition as a finalist in the category of Social Issues/Current Events. The series, which aired consecutively on Sept. 28 and 29, 2010, focused on those suffering in China from discrimination over longstanding misconceptions of the transmission of Hepatitis B.