Network Ten’s The Project wins UNAA Media Peace Award

The UNAA Media Peace Awards seek to promote understanding about humanitarian and social justice issues

The Project presenter Waleed Aly and writer Tom Whitty have won a UNAA (United Nations Association of Australia) Media Peace Award.

The awards were announced Monday night at Melbourne’s Arts Centre to celebrate United Nations Day.

MORE: Waleed Aly speaks with James Manning on a Mediaweek podcast

The UNAA Media Peace Awards – which were handed out for the first time in 1979 – seek to promote understanding about humanitarian and social justice issues by recognising those in the media whose contributions stimulate public awareness and understanding. This year, more than 70 journalists, producers, photographers and filmmakers were among the finalists in 13 categories.

In the Promotion Of Social Cohesion Category, Aly and Whitty were awarded for their Send Forgiveness Viral editorial, calling on Australians to stop the cycle of viral outrage with forgiveness.

Waleed Aly said: “It’s genuinely humbling to be recognised for this piece. Tom and I knew we were taking a huge risk in writing it because in today’s media environment you rarely get rewarded for trying to hold the middle ground, and trying to understand those with whom you passionately disagree. We are delighted that something so unfashionable has been a success.”

The pair were also nominated in the Best Television Category For News And Current Affairs, for their ISIL Is Weak editorial, which gained international media attention and attracted over 30 million views on social media platforms.

The Project executive producer Craig Campbell said: “Waleed and Tom are constantly challenging us all to not accept the norm and think about issues that capture our attention from a different perspective. I am once again so incredibly proud of them and The Project team who helped make their work come to life.”

Meanwhile, Guardian Australia’s Nauru files series won three awards at the UNAA Media Peace Awards. The series, published in August 2016, won the awards in the print, online and protection of children categories. The Nauru files reportage brought to light the trauma and abuse suffered by children on Nauru. It recorded in more than 2,000 incident reports.

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