Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are the recipients of the 2017 James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. The Burmese journalists have been held by Myanmar officials since December 12, 2017, pending a hearing on whether to bring charges against them under the Official Secrets Act.
Before their arrest, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were painstakingly reconstructing the killings of 10 Rohingya men last September, following their path from a beach in the Rakhine state, where government troops and Buddhist villagers plucked them from among a crowd of villagers seeking refuge, to their mass grave nearby. The two reporters told each of the men’s stories, shining a light on their lives as well as on their deaths. “The coverage was riveting and horrifying,” said award co-judge and Medill Professor Donna Leff (BSJ70, MSJ71). “The reporting was meticulous and the story-telling was heroic.”
On their behalf, Reuters Myanmar Bureau Chief Antoni Slodkowski the award.