Majeed Gly of Rudaw Media Network is co-recipient of the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast media.
UNITED NATIONS, New York — Majeed Gly, a Kurdish correspondent for Rudaw Media Network, was awarded the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast media on Wednesday night by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) at its headquarters in New York.
“Personally, it means being a Kurd — a member of a historically persecuted minority group — is not a handicap here in the United States,” he told Rudaw English.
Gly was a bronze co-recipient of the Ortega Prize for broadcast media. Its namesake was formerly the New York correspondent for Antenna 3 TV of Spain who died while on an assignment in Haiti in 2004.
Rudaw Media Network colleagues display the UNCA Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize at UN headquarters in New York on December 5, 2018. From left: Namo Abdulla, the Washington D.C. bureau chief; Hemin Lihony, the chief digital officer; Majeed Gly, the New York bureau chief; and Ranj Sangawi, host of the 'Legel Ranj' TV program. Photo: Rudaw
“I just wish Kurdish journalists in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey had the same opportunity and freedom to do their job without fear of prosecution and death,” he added.
Gly is a native of Kirkuk, a diverse but predominately Kurdish city claimed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as well as the Iraqi federal government. Rudaw reporters have faced death threats when covering events in and around disputed areas like Kirkuk.
has been Emmy-nominated and has worked as the New York bureau chief for Rudaw TV with a primary focus on international affairs at UN Headquarters. Gly has worked at Rudaw for five years.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq congratulated Gly, noting his "unflinching dedication and perseverance."
"You have shown personal commitment to the story of Iraq, in particular in the fight against ISIL/Da'esh and the sacrifices made by all Iraqis, including the Kurdish community,” wrote Jan Kubis in a letter addressed to Gly.
Kubis commended Gly for the way he has "accurately conveyed" the views from UN headquarters to viewers and readers in the Kurdistan Region and in Kurdish-speaking communities worldwide.
"I wish to express my sincere congratulations and high appreciation for your professional coverage of the United Nations, UNAMI in particular, and in the contributions you have made for better public understanding of the work of the UN,” Kubis wrote.
Bashir Haddad, deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament and member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), sent his congratulations to Gly and Rudaw Media Network.
Rudaw Media Network is headquartered in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since it began broadcasting in 2008. It has been commended by CNN and other international media organizations for its coverage of the ISIS conflict.
Ako Mohammed, CEO of Rudaw, said the recognition of Gly is a nod to the work of the whole network, that its work is “respected and trusted by the biggest international agency in the world. It is also a sign of respect for Rudaw by the biggest international agency whose objectives and work are to protect peace and work for humanity. That is why this award is important for us, something that will increase the reputation of and trust in Rudaw in general across the globe.”
As the only journalist from the Kurdistan Region or Iraq based at the UN headquarters, Mohammed said Gly is driven to “convey the questions of the people of the region to the UN leaders and countries’ representatives for the sake of peace.”
Gly and Rudaw provide a lens on happenings in the Middle East. Through interviews and working the United Nations’ beat, Gly is able to ask international decision-makers questions directly revealing insights on world issues often before they hit international media wires.
US President Donald Trump responds a question from Rudaw correspondent Majeed Gly on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2018. Video: Rudaw via WH
In September, Gly was called on by US President Donald Trump while attending a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Trump warmly received
Trump toed the Washington line when pressed on why said allies of Kurds do not better support Kurdish endeavors in the Middle East; however, he gave perhaps the most direct answer on the presidential perception of the current status of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“We have defeated ISIS essentially in a very short while ago in the Middle East…” said Trump.
Amid rising criticisms of journalists from world leaders like Trump, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterres said at the awards ceremony, "Nobody in this room is in the fake news business."
"Freedom of the press is an essential part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but not just for journalists, it is essential for the human rights of everybody because everyone has the right to the truth," added Guterres.