Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Afghan Service, locally known as Radio Azadi, has received the 2019 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for courage, excellence and professionalism in journalism.
The award recognizes the tragic loss of three Radio Azadi colleagues in a coordinated suicide bombing that killed three of its journalists in Kabul in April 2018.
Afghan Service Director Qadir Habib accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., stating, “I remember that day we grieved and mourned the death of those young members of the Radio Azadi family – but we continued to report. We talked about the consequences of such attacks on freedom of speech and free media in Afghanistan. We were hit hard on that day, but now we stand taller and stronger than before in the face of extremist propaganda and disinformation.”
RFE/RL’s Afghan Service is an online pioneer and media leader in Afghanistan, reaching 25 percent of the adult audience nationally. The service's website provides news in both Dari and Pashto, and its YouTube channel has more than 13.4 million views and 70,000 subscribers.
The Burke Award is presented by The United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to journalists and staff from each of its five networks – Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN).