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RFE/RL Afghan Journalist Dedicates Media Award To Slain Colleagues

Photos combined: Malali Bashir, Aspire Award, Afghan Professionals Network, May 12 2018
Photos combined: Malali Bashir, Aspire Award, Afghan Professionals Network, May 12 2018

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Afghan Service journalist Malali Bashir has received the Afghan Professionals Network’s (APn) 2018 Aspire Award for outstanding achievement in the media sector.

Bashir was recognized for her accomplishments in print, broadcast, and social media in Afghanistan, with special commendation for her coverage of women’s issues.

She accepted the award on behalf of her colleagues in Kabul, “who were taken from us on April 30,” in two coordinated suicide bomb attacks that targeted journalists. RFE/RL’s Afghan Service, known locally as Radio Azadi, lost two journalists and a trainee in the attacks, for which the militant group Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

“I am so glad the world is recognizing our work in the darkest times for us as journalists because of the deaths of our colleagues,” said Bashir. “This award reinforces the notion that our coverage is being listened to and that we are making a difference because of our commitment toward our mission.”

Since winning the Aspire Award, Bashir says she has received hundreds of congratulatory messages, including from ambassadors, high ranking Afghan officials, and human rights activists.

Bashir, who has founded a Facebook group for Afghan women, was voted the most influential Twitter user in Afghanistan at the Afghan Social Media Summit in 2015.

The APn awards, presented for the fifth year in a London ceremony on May 12, recognize exceptional achievement in eight categories, including Media, Arts, and Science. Other nominees in the Media category this year included journalists from BBC World and BBC Pashto.

Established in 2012, the APn unites Afghan businesses and professionals from over 20 countries worldwide, who organize educational, professional development, and charitable initiatives globally to promote the achievements of Afghans and Afghanistan.