Kate Hodal for the Guardian Weekend Magazine
Kate Hodal’s well-crafted report on the tin mining industry on a small Indonesian island links mobile phone and tablet consumers all over the world to miners risking their lives on the job. With clarity and an evocative eye for detail, she describes how mining has destroyed the island’s farms and forests, killed off its fish stocks and dented tourism - resulting in a vicious circle that means mining is now the island’s only source of income.
Unregulated and dangerous, it’s estimated that mining on Bangka leads to 100-150 deaths a year, although it’s also made many locals wealthy enough to send their children to school for the first time. Following a local miner almost buried alive by a mudslide that drowned three of his friends, the investigation highlights that, despite hazardous working conditions and low pay, residents now need the tin mining industry to survive.
The jury said:
"Death Metal is investigative journalism at its best, exposing the links that bind global companies and the people who use their products to the lives of the tin miners. With engaging writing from start to finish, the jury was particularly impressed with how Hodal deftly exposed the many-sided dilemma facing the island’s residents with sympathy, but not offering easy answers. By naming the companies that buy the tin, she implicates all of us in the story. Powerful reporting, and beautifully illustrated too."
The jury panel:
- CHAIR: Peter Cunliffe-Jones, Deputy Director, AFP Foundation
- David Blair, Chief Foreign Correspondent, Daily Telegraph
- Joel Kibazo, Consultant
- Nick Fraser, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville
Click here to download a copy of the jury's citation (pdf)
Jury Chair Peter Cunliffe-Jones of AFP and Guardian Weekend editor Merope Mills