The winners of the 2021 Media Awards for Excellence in Crime Reporting, organized by the Belize Crime Observatory under the USAID funded InfoSegura Project, have been announced.
• Ms. Andrea Polanco of News 5 snagged three awards for having attained the top cumulative scores for Best Feature Story, Best News Series, and Best Single News Story. Her entries were titled: How has the pandemic impacted crime in Belize?, The Problem of Domestic Violence – Part 1 & Part 2, and The Crime Statistics for 2020.
• Ms. Courtney Menzies of Channel 7 News won the BCO’s Choice Award: Rising Star for her submission in the Belize Single News Story category: Toledo, 2010 – 2020: A Decade of Decline.
• Mr. Aaron Humes of Breaking Belize News won an additional award — BCO Choice Award: Best Online Coverage – for his extensive online coverage of crime data and information following the March 2020 workshop convened under the project for media professionals on Crime Data Reporting.
The Media Awards is a follow-up to the Crime Data Reporting Workshop, hosted by the Belize Crime Observatory in March 2020, with sponsorship from USAID and support from UNDP, through the Infosegura Project. During that workshop, Media professionals from print, broadcast and online media mapped out several story ideas for future coverage. The concepts envisioned investigative work and collaboration with peers on a range of topics related to crime and violence and were judged by several communications and media experts in Belize.
In late 2020, Belize media professionals were invited to submit their print, voice, or video stories and/or documentaries for consideration by a panel of judges. The objective of the Awards was to promote excellence in reporting on crime and violence through insightful stories that raise awareness of the problems and root causes; highlight initiatives and interventions for positive change; and provide the public with useful information to support a “whole of society” approach to the fight against crime.
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