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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label Body of work in 2013
Date Aired or Published Throughout 2013
Media outlet where first aired or published: www.aljazeera.com
Name of Program: Al Jazeera online
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Halifax, Doha, Caracas, Dubai
List awards, grants: Wolfson Press Fellowship, Cambridge University
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

As a Halifax native and Atlantic Canadian reporter, I am currently the youngest senior producer at Al Jazeera english. In less than three years, I have worked my way up from the bottom and am currently managing a team of five reporters. Two of the stories here, in particular, involved significant personal risk. To uncover the links between Venezuela's government and armed gangs terrorizing residents of the capital, I spent a week in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the western hemisphere, interviewing well-armed militants as they planned harassment campaigns targeting supporters of the country's opposition ahead of an election. Local media translated and heavily reported the story after it was published, leading the gangsters to call a press conference and ruling party officials to try and deny their links to the thugs. In Dubai, strikes are illegal, and there is no free press to report on them. I was the only english language journalist to interview workers who had risked their lives to protest slave-like conditions in one of the world's richest countries. Reporters are routinely jailed and occasionally tortured in Dubai, and covering this story was not easy. The labour camps where the workers live are guarded by private security forces and obtaining interviews was difficult, but once reached, the workers were eager to tell their stories as no other reporters had been there to interview them.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

The resources and size of the newsroom are significant and have allowed me to help complete this body of work. I realize the international scope of the articles presented is different from the typical submissions to these awards. However, my home is still Halifax and Canada is the largest market for Al Jazeera english online, which has a significant Atlantic Canadian readership. Thanks for the consideration, Sincerely Chris Arsenault

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