THE GLOBAL MAIL
JOURNALIST JO CHANDLER has received the Australian Council for International Development Media Award for her outstanding series Project PNG, published by The Global Mail.
The award recognises the impact Jo Chandler’s stories have had globally, influencing debate and action around issues concerning the people of Papua New Guinea, Australia’s closest neighbour.
The 2013 Australian Council for International Development Media Award was decided last week in Canberra.
“I hope the award helps encourage editors and reporters to give priority to sharing stories about life at the margins, for people within our borders and beyond them,” Jo said.
“These are such epic stories of struggle, hardship, resilience, triumph and tragedy. They connect such disparate realities.”
The Global Mail editor Lauren Martin said, “Jo Chandler brings experience, intelligence, great sensitivity and humanity to her work, and nowhere is that more evident than in her stories for The Global Mail’s ongoing Project PNG.
“Whether she’s reporting the shocking violence associated with accusations of witchcraft, or the urgent challenges of improving public health crises such as TB (which she herself contracted while reporting in Papua New Guinea), Jo brings her relentless energy to important stories.”
Asked why she chose to focus on PNG, Jo explained her interest was sparked when she realised the shocking health statistics faced by Papua New Guineans, particularly in the areas of child and maternal health and maternal death rates.
Subsequently, Chandler’s own diagnosis of drug-resistant tuberculosis brought these issues home to her.
ACFID President Dr Meredith Burgmann said that it was an honour to be recognising the work of one of Australia’s leading journalists.
“Jo Chandler has demonstrated a long-standing dedication to highlighting issues of poverty and injustice in Papua New Guinea,” said Burgmann.
“She has continually strived to shed light on issues typically not on the radar of everyday Australians, although they are occurring in our closest neighbouring country.”