Wednesday, 25 May 2011


CNN International has won the Amnesty International Media award in the ‘International Television and Radio’ category for its documentary, 'World’s Untold Stories: Locked Up and Forgotten', it was announced at the awards ceremony in London.
The winning half-hour documentary, fronted by CNN’s Nairobi-based correspondent David McKenzie, highlights the negligence and social taboos suffered by Kenya’s mentally disabled community, who live a life hidden away in slums and remote villages across the country. Devoid of medical care and therapy an estimated three million mentally disabled individuals are ostracised by society, concealed and locked away inside their own communities, often by their own families.
When first aired on CNN International the documentary sparked widespread debate, bringing the plight of Kenya’s mentally disabled to the forefront of the world’s media. This resulted in domestic and international human rights groups calling for government intervention. The matter was brought to the attention of the Kenyan government, who have called for change.
The Amnesty International Media Award jurors praised the programme for being “moving yet constructive.”
“It's fitting that the Amnesty International logo is a candle because it is an honour and a privilege to be awarded this prize for a documentary that shines a light on the shocking state of mental health in Kenya and beyond," said McKenzie.
"David McKenzie took an unknown story and brought it to the attention of the world, testament that hard hitting journalism can incite global change,” executive vice president and managing director of CNN International Tony Maddox said of the award. "It is an honour to have your journalism recognised by Amnesty International as powerful enough to truly make a difference."
The award is the World Untold Stories documentary strand’s second win in the ‘International Television and Radio’ category since it first aired on CNN in 2009. In 2009 the strand took the award with The Forgotten People for its expose of the on-going persecution of the ethnic Rohingya people in their bid to escape terrible privation in Myanmar, formerly Burma and in neighbouring countries.

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