BBC’s Ian Pannell and Darren Conway honoured with prestigious David Bloom Award for frontline reporting from Syria

Date: 07.06.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.59
Category: BBC World News
BBC News correspondent Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway have been awarded this year’s prestigious David Bloom Award in recognition of their reporting from Syria. The announcement was made on Wednesday 5 June 2013 at the Annual Radio Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner at Washington’s National Building Museum.

The award recognised Ian and Darren for their work reporting from the Idlib province of Syria in June 2012, where they spent two weeks with opposition groups, at a time when it was increasingly dangerous for western media organisations to gain access to the country. Their reports from this period included a feature examining the evolving tactics being employed by Syrian rebels within the region and another report focusing on the experiences of a family who were sheltering their injured children, too afraid to have them treated, at a time when, in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces, the fighting between rebels and government forces was escalating.

This work broadcast on the BBC’s US newscast World News America in June 2012, available globally on the BBC’s 24-hour international news channel BBC World News. The reports were also featured on BBC News outlets within the UK and online at BBC.com

Ian has been with BBC News for more than 20 years and is one of its most experienced correspondents. In the last 10 years, he has been posted to North America, Africa and Asia. In 2001, he was part of the BBC’s Emmy Award-winning team in Afghanistan reporting on the US-lead war against Al-Qaeda. He was the first reporter to enter the capital as the Taliban withdrew. Ian returned to Afghanistan in 2008, when he spent two years based in Kabul, covering the battle against an evolving insurgency, especially along the border with Pakistan. He was nominated for the Royal Television Society’s (RTS) Television Reporter of the Year award as well as the UK’s Sony’s Radio Reporter of the Year award for his work there.

Ian has spent many years working in the Middle East. He was posted to Cairo from 2005-2008 during which time he reported on the wars in Iraq and Lebanon. The latter was also recognised for an International Emmy Award in 2006. As the Arab Spring began, Ian returned to the region, reporting from Cairo, Bahrain and Libya. Since 2011, he has reported on Syria and its descent into civil war. This work was recognised in February 2013 by the RTS where it won the International News Coverage award.

The David Bloom Award honors the late NBC correspondent and anchor by recognizing excellence and courage in enterprise, investigative or feature reporting. BBC News has previously been awarded four David Bloom Awards. In 2009 the BBC’s Orla Guerin won the award for her report Chaos in DR Congo - which focused on the plight of Congolese refugees in Kibatia on the outskirts of Goma.

In 2010, BBC News correspondent Lyse Doucet was awarded the David Bloom Award for her report on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, Where Giving Life Is A Death Sentence. Lyse traveled to the Badakshan province, in northeast Afghanistan, to report from the part of the world with the worst-ever recorded rate of maternal mortality.

In 2012, BBC News correspondent Paul Wood was awarded the David Bloom Award for his report Inside Syria. Paul was a co-recipient of the award alongside Clarissa Ward from CBS News – both being recognized for their reporting from Syria.

Contact: Penny Crook