UNCA award for Siddharth Varadarajan

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Siddharth Varadarajan, Deputy Editor of The Hindu , was presented the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Award for excellence in journalism by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the 10th annual UNCA Awards Dinner in New York on Friday.

Mr. Varadarajan was awarded the silver medal in the Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for Print Journalism for his series on Iran and the IAEA titled "Persian Puzzle."

The gold medal was awarded to Mohammad Bazzi of Newsday and Dafna Linzer of The Washington Post. The memorial prize is sponsored by the Boston Globe and the UNCA.

Award for former United Nations official

The evening saw Mr. Annan presenting the UNCA "Citizen of the World" award to the former U.N. Under-Secretary General, Sir Brian Urquhart. U.N. goodwill ambassador and distinguished actress Julia Ormond was a special guest.

Founded in 1948 as a press club, the UNCA instituted the awards in 1995 to encourage in-depth coverage of the U.N. and its work.

With the awards attracting entries from different parts of the world, the judges looked for more than just reportage.

The award was given to those who have "taken risks, professionally and personally, and have looked hard beneath the official releases and spin."

The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for Broadcast Journalism saw Ishbel Matheson and Dan McMillan of BBC Radio 4 and World Service win the gold medal for their coverage of Darfur. Rory O'Connor of Globalvision, New York, and Nara Ferreira of Radio Senado, Brazil, shared the silver medal for their coverage of the 60th anniversary of the U.N.

Foundation Prize

In the U.N. Foundation Prize for Reporting on Humanitarian and Development Affairs category, the Bangkok Post's Supara Janchitfah bagged the gold medal. O Globo's Roberta Jansen won the silver medal.