This year’s Journalists’ Charity award goes to photographer Paul Conroy
Seven years ago Syrian Government forces deliberately shelled a makeshift media centre from where Paul and the renowned war reporter Marie Colvin were reporting the battle of Homs for the Sunday Times. Colvin and a French photographer, a friend of Paul’s, were killed outright.
Conroy escaped with a severe leg wound, with the urgent plea of some of his Syrian helpers to ‘go tell the world’, ringing in his ears.
Since then Paul, a modest Liverpudlian former solider, has been relentless in pursuit of justice for his fallen friends and colleagues and to continually expose the barbarity of the Syrian regime.
Under The Wire, the book he wrote when he eventually left hospital, was made into a documentary last year. A feature film, A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike as Colvin and Jamie Dornan as Conroy has recently been released.
While Paul will say the story should be about Assad and Syria and not himself, or Marie Colvin, it was their bravery and compassion that gave the story its voice.
Paul showed remarkable courage bearing witness to the appalling events in Homs which have been shown to be a deliberate attempt to silence the media.
Since its establishment more than 150 years ago, the Journalists’ Charity has recognised outstanding compassion and commitment demonstrated by journalists.
The charity is delighted to honour Paul for his dedication to securing justice for his friends and to ensure the story they were reporting continues to be told.