Voice of America’s Mandarin service journalists, Miao Yu, Shih-Wei Chou, Bo Xu and Sharon Wu, received the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award this year for their coverage of the pandemic-related lockdown in China’s Wuhan province in 2020 and the Chinese government’s efforts to control information, as the threat of COVID-19 was engulfing the world.
While Chinese authorities were downplaying the severity of the circumstances in Wuhan following the initial coronavirus outbreak, VOA Mandarin’s reporters connected with ordinary citizens inside the city at the epicenter of the pandemic. Risking their safety, numerous Chinese citizens shared personal accounts with VOA that differed considerably from the official Chinese government statements on the pandemic and the state of public health in Wuhan and surrounding areas. The VOA Mandarin team produced multiple stories of grief and loss of Wuhan citizens, as well as ones highlighting their anger and sorrow after the death from COVID-19 of the whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang. Even today, one of these citizens, Bin Fang, is still missing and another one, Qiushi Chen, resurfaced only recently, after going missing for 600 days.
Notable features include a daughter’s search for her father, who went missing so that he would not infect his family and later was found dead; and a son’s cry for help, after his ill father was rejected by several hospitals.
“Congratulations to our winners,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “Their reporting ingenuity brought to light the deeply personal angle of the pandemic, the torment and loss of ordinary Chinese citizens, in stark juxtaposition to Beijing’s disinformation campaign.”
The U.S. Agency for Global Media presents the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Awards annually to recognize courage, integrity and professionalism of journalists working for each of the five USAGM networks
Originally published at https://www.insidevoa.com/a/6357414.html