The other interns and I had a great opportunity to see and meet some iconic journalists at the 2012 ICFJ Awards Dinner.
It was an event we had all been looking forward to as soon as we found out we’d be going. Everyone was busy working on stories, and as soon as the clock marked 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, it was time to clock out and make our way to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
The night was pretty chilly when we walked out. I fell behind after I had to return to the office to get a camera so I’d be prepared for a story I had to do the following day. I caught up with the rest of the interns at the reception, which Google sponsored. That means free drinks for everyone present and of course, registration cost money, however, the Scripps Howard Foundation had us covered. So there I was with a camera. I decided I would start documenting the experience for the sake of memories. I thought everyone would maybe like to have something to look back on if they ever do feel like reminiscing about the night.
Everyone was mingling and taking free Google notebooks and free drinks until the chimes jingled to let everyone know it was time for dinner. Dinner was served, and Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s lead political anchor and master of ceremonies, kicked off the show and got things rolling.
Bob Woodward, investigative reporter and associate editor at The Washington Post, and Ann Curry, NBC correspondent, made appearances. Most of the interns got a chance to talk to Woodward, and they caught him in a good mood. He was all smiles and signed autographs.
Two international journalists were recognized for their work and received the Knight International Journalism Award.
They were Kassim Mohamed, senior correspondent, Star FM, in Kenya, and Sami Mahdi, news director, 1TV, in Afghanistan. Mohamed reported on Somali piracy and wrote about brutal gangs in a neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is based. Mahdi has created a media outlet that gives Afghan citizens a voice in their country. He also started a show, “Niqab,” which means mask. In this show, in front of a live audience, Mahdi interviews women who have been victims of rape and domestic violence. These women can speak without fear because their identities are hidden behind a mask. His mission is to stop violence against women.
YouTube’s CEO Salar Kamangar accepted the News Innovation Award on behalf of the company. YouTube has been able to provide a place where people can share raw footage of events going on around the world.
Pamela Howard, vice chairman of ICFJ and a Scripps Howard Foundation board member, made an appearance at the dinner. Before the event, she stopped by the office Tuesday morning and we all got a chance to meet her. She was a nice and humble lady.
Once dinner was over, we all got pictures with Wolf Blitzer and Bob Woodward. The women were able to get a picture with Kamangar in a Gangnam style pose.
It was a good time for all of us.