Young Journalist of the Year Awards
Overall Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Television/video journalism

In 2011, SBS reporter Yaara Bou Melhem (@YaaraBouTV) was named the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year for “Freedom’s Call”, her investigation into the people’s democracy movement in Syria. For her report, which also earned her the Television/Video Journalism prize, Yaara spent a month researching and filming solo in Syria, beneath the radar of the secret police, who were monitoring mobile phones. She was able to persuade dissidents and their relatives to talk about the seeds of the people’s democracy movement.

Judges’ comments:

“Yaara’s report was an example of courageous journalism with significant public benefit.  Putting her own safety at risk, she was able to provide a rare glimpse inside the democracy movement in Syria. Yaara secured hard to get interviews while working by herself in an oppressive environment with minimal resources. The piece involved a great amount of research, was well filmed and made compelling television.”