Much-bereaved Al Jazeera journalist Kerala's "mediaperson of the year"
The award, which includes a sum of Rs 1 lakh, a citation and a sculpture, goes to Gaza bureau chief Wael Al-Dahdouh
The Kerala Media Academy has announced on 2 February that Wael Al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, has been selected for the Academy’s ‘Mediaperson of the Year’ award in recognition of his exceptional journalistic courage.
The award, which comprises a sum of Rs 1 lakh, a citation and a sculpture, is supposed to be presented by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The KMA said Dahdouh was recognised for his fearless reporting that allowed the world to see the true picture of the catastrophe in Gaza.
Al-Dahdouh’s wife Amna, son Mahmoud, daughter Sham and grandson Adam were killed in October after an Israeli air raid hit his home at the Nuseirat refugee camp where they were sheltering, in an allegedly targetted attack.
His other son Hamza, also an Al Jazeera journalist, was killed on duty alongside videographer Mustafa Thuraya when a direct Israeli airstrike hit their car in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.
Al-Dahdouh himself and his colleague, cameraman Samer Abudaqa, were injured in December 2023 while filming an Israeli attack on a UN school. Abudaqa bled to death as Israeli artillery prevented medics from reaching him.
Dahdouh was chosen following recommendations from an association of investigative journalists and a committee of editors of magazines, said the Academy. KMA chairperson R.S. Babu said Dahdouh, who is undergoing treatment in Qatar, termed the award an honour.
In mid-January, Al-Dahdouh arrived in Qatar to undergo surgery for wounds sustained in the attack.
According to UN reports, more than 122 journalists and media workers have been among the 27,000 people killed in Israel’s nearly four-month offensive in Gaza.
Press freedom watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists said last month that media professionals were being killed in Gaza at a rate that has no parallel in modern history and that there was 'an apparent pattern of targeting of journalists and their families by the Israeli military'.