DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers recognized Rudaw for extending its reach to 100 million in social media in 2017.
“It is a great privilege to receive this great achievement in such a short period of time," said Hemin Lihony, Rudaw's Digital Media head after receiving the award along with CEO Ako Mohammed in Dubai on Wednesday.
WAN-IFRA is a non-profit international NGO headquartered in Germany and founded in 1948. It now represents more than 18,000 publications globally. This was the 13th WAN-IFRA conference for the Middle East.
"The judges said it was a stunning entry and deserved to win. Great content and real journalism has been tailored impressively for different social media platforms," said the presenter.
Rudaw opened its English-language portal in 2013. The growth of social media on Twitter and Facebook has been organic and with few boosted posts.
It topped 100 million users on social media platforms during the Kurdistan Region's independence referendum on September 25, 2017.
“Our focus on social media has been, and will continue to be reporting news as truthfully, fairly and accurately as possible," explained Lihony.
Rudaw's Hemin Lihony (center) receives an award from WAN-IFRA for best social media engagement in Dubai on February 28, 2018. Photo: Rudaw
Rudaw has also previously been recognized for its coverage of the ISIS conflict as the group threatened to overrun all of Iraq.
"For social media, it means, despite having limited means at our disposal, we are making a huge difference in terms of representation on a global, and Middle Eastern scale," said Lihony.
Rudaw has continued to grow its portals and graphics with the addition of more staff and journalists, who report the news from the region's many local languages.
"This makes us happy and more responsible to do the best work," Lihony said. "This award recognises the great work Rudaw staff put into their work. It’s not an individual achievement, but collective work of all those involved."
Rudaw launched as a Kurdish broadcaster in 2008.
“We’re never satisfied with where we are because we continue to aim higher," added Lihony.
Rudaw is a Kurdish media network funded and supported by Rudaw Company. It is based in Erbil, the capital city of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
It has online platforms in two Kurdish dialects, English, Arabic, and Turkish. Additionally, Rudaw produces a weekly newspaper, daily radio, and television broadcasts news from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
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