Named for the acclaimed Arab American journalist, the Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism is given biannually to honor individuals whose coverage of the Arab world or the Arab American community has had longstanding or groundbreaking impacts.
This year, we are delighted to honor the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, recognizing her tremendous career of compassionate and humanizing reporting from the Middle East, including in Yemen, Syria, and Palestine.
Over a nearly 30-year career at the BBC, Lyse Doucet has reported on key events and issues all over the world, from Syria to Pakistan, from West Africa to Southeast Asia. She has covered most of the major stories from the region over the last 20 years, and her coverage provided critical perspectives during popular uprisings in Arab countries in the spring of 2011. She has been recognized for her reportage with several honorary doctorates from leading UK and Canadian universities, the Edward R. Murrow Award for radio reports from Tunisia, a Peabody and David Bloom Award in 2010 for television films from Afghanistan, Radio News Journalist of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in the UK, the Silver Sony Award for News Journalist of the Year, International Television Personality of the Year from the Association for International Broadcasting and the News and Factual Award from Women in Film and Television. In the United States, she has been nominated for two Emmys.
While Lyse’s credentials are remarkable, it is her dedication to producing humanizing coverage that sets her apart. As she stated so beautifully in a BBC interview, “in order to cover these stories as we should, and to make our audiences care, we have to cover them in a human way. Because that’s what they are in the end, they’re also human stories…. sometimes in situations of the greatest inhumanity, you find a very profound humanity as well.” With a compassion emulating that of Anthony Shadid, Ms. Doucet raises the bar for reporting from the region, making visible human experiences which are too often ignored or distorted.
Doucet has said, “journalism is [a] great license to ask questions.” We honor Ms. Doucet for asking the difficult questions, for her dedication to accurately and empathetically portraying the human stories she tells. We are honored to celebrate her leadership and integrity in journalism by presenting her with the Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism at the 2019 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.