These reports used audio creatively to transport listeners to Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people are surrounded by armed forces, isolated, starving and cut off from medical care. Despite the challenges of making and maintaining contacts, many of whom live in fear of persecution, and working in towns with fluctuating internet and electricity, Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu Gosh worked hard to verify shocking reports, producing video and audio to bring these stories to the world.

Sophie McNeill is the ABC’s Middle East correspondent. She was the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2008 and won the TV/Video category in 2008 and 2010. In 2010 she won a Walkley for her reporting from Afghanistan. Last year she was nominated for a Walkley for her work on Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe.

Fouad Abu Gosh has been the ABC’s Middle East producer since 2014. Before that he spent nearly 10 years working with the BBC. Abu Gosh was a crucial member of the team that produced the Yazidi sex slave story for which ABC Middle East correspondent Matt Brown won a Walkley last year.

Judges’ comments:

Courageous and tenacious, Sophie McNeill writes stories which are extremely incisive. The stories here, produced by Fouad Abu Gosh, are also cautious, rechecking information from sources for veracity. Their creative use of audio transports listeners to Syria, exposing atrocities which would otherwise remain hidden.