Aela Callan has been named the 2017 winner of the Jane Cunningham Croly Award for Excellence in Journalism Covering Issues of Concern to Women for her film broadcast on Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme.
Callan won the award for “Good Morning Pakistan”, a film about female reporters risking their lives to deliver the news in one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. The documentary aired on 101 East, Al Jazeera’s weekly Asian current affairs programme.
The Jane Cunningham Croly Award recognises journalists who best capture the courage, vision and spirit of Jane Cunningham Croly, a pioneering journalist who devoted her life to helping women improve their lives and expand their rights.
The award organisers said Callan’s film “demonstrated a concern for the rights and the advancement of women in society and made a bold statement about the challenges women journalists face”.
Callan is the first international award winner.
“It’s an honour to win this award,” said Callan. “It’s a chance to again highlight the brave young women who risk their lives reporting on Pakistan’s tribal areas. In a society shaped by conservative attitudes and where threats by armed groups have shut down most media outlets, these reporters take incredible risks to tell stories that only women can tell.”
Callan’s film focuses on the women working for Tribal News Network, a radio station that broadcasts across Pakistan’s troubled border region with Afghanistan. She meets the team making women’s voices heard in a part of the world where they are not often seen in public life.
“Good Morning Pakistan” also recently won a Gold Medal at the New York Festival Film and Television Awards.
Callan was presented with the Croly Award at a gala ceremony on June 26 in Palm Springs, California.
Callan reports international stories, from Nepal and Myanmar to Cambodia and France, Callan has been producing films for 101 East since 2011. She was a Knight Fellow for Journalism Innovation at Stanford University in 2013-2014.