Awards for coverage of Syrian civil conflict
9:08am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Local
THE journalist — and University of Bolton graduate — who secured the exclusive footage of Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal last moments has won two awards for her front line coverage of the Syrian civil war.
Tracey Shelton has as won the prestigious George Polk Award for her Inside Syria series of video reports for the Global Post.
She films, edits and produces all her own stories, often from the war zone itself.
Miss Shelton, who in 20120 graduated from the University of Bolton’s international multimedia journalism MA, which is taught in Beijing, also won a picture of the year international award for her piece, called One Hospital’s Story.
The piece reports on the struggles of a Syrian hospital behind rebel lines in Aleppo, the country’s largest city, that is woefully short of staff and equipment.
Awarded by Long Island University, New York, the George Polk Awards were established to commemorate American CBS journalist, George Polk, who was killed in 1949 while covering the Greek civil war.
Miss Shelton is still in Syria and has been since May 2012.
Before that she covered the Libyan war for a year, where she got hold of footage of the final moments of Muammar Gaddafi’s life.
She said: “ I just love what I do. My only goal all along has been to firstly understand what people really go through.”
The 39-year-old did not even know she had been nominated by Global Post until she received a call from the awards’ curator telling her she had won.
Miss Shelton said: “At the time I was sleeping on the floor with a Syrian family in Atmeh.
“We were all huddled around the wood heater in the main room of the house, asleep on mattresses. The call woke everyone. They were so excited when I told them the news.”
In September 2012 Miss Shelton caught on camera the moment a tank shell hit a rebel checkpoint, instantly killing three rebels with whom she was closely working.
The George Polk judges said her work captured the “human tragedy of the conflict in Syria in a way that is impossible to ignore or forget”.
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