Three people speaking together at an OWM Awards event. The person in the centre is facing the camera and two people on the side, a woman on the left and a man on the right, are not.

One World Media in 2021

This has been an eventful, exciting year at One World Media. Like everyone else, as we adapted to changes, we had lots of big wins as we continued to support filmmakers and journalists around the world to tell stories about the global south. At a time in history, when it is evident that quality journalism is so urgently needed, we are committed to bringing underreported stories and underrepresented people into mainstream media. 

Highlights from our programmes

Our annual One World Media Awards which recognises print, audio, broadcast and digital journalism 

in 15 categories received more than 500 submissions from 96 countries, up from 74 in 2020. We set a new record with nine winners and 34% of our 60 judges from the global south compared to only four winners last year. We’re also proud to share that 31% of our judges were from minority or ethnic backgrounds in the UK and 59% were women, exceeding our targets. The event received support from some of the biggest names in the industry like the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Supporting storytellers

Twenty fellows were recruited for the annual One World Media Fellowship to report from 18 countries across film, print, multimedia, photography and audio. Building on our growing alumni network, we set up a private platform to connect and leverage this community of more than 120 emerging journalists and filmmakers who have been through our new talent programmes in recent years and are currently located around the world. To encourage consistent, widely accessible learning, we launched our free online courseInternational Reporting: The Essential Toolkit — in partnership with the Thomson Foundation. We hosted an online screening of short docs in partnership with Bertha DocHouse, showcasing our fellows’ films from Jordan, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. And this summer, we produced a workshop in Malawi as part of a film festival in Lilongwe.

Two of our fellows, Alizeh Kohari and Hermine Virabian, have had work published this year. Alizeh reported about struggles of the Pakistani fishing community for The Baffler and Hermine’s photojournalism piece on Yazidi women in Armenia who have chosen to go to university instead of marrying young appeared in Open Caucasus Media.

The fourth edition of Global Short Docs Forum was attended by 14 filmmakers and 10 platforms looking for short docs like ARTE, AJE, BBC, CBC, VICE and The Guardian. In 2021, we saw five of our GSDF filmmakers from 2020 get commissioned by major international media outlets. While three films are in post-production, two released this year on the BBC and Al Jazeera English.

An older woman standing with artwork. Her head is covered
A still from Marina Shupac’s film

A GSDF alumna, Marina Shupac’s film Last Chance for Justice was broadcast on BBC Our World in February 2021 and won a One World Media Award in the Short Film and Student Awards categories in June 2021. And in a sea of Covid coverage, a stand-out production was GSDF alumnus Prashun Mazumdar‘s short documentary India’s COVID Warriors, co-directed by Suyash Shrivastava, which was broadcast by AJE’s 101 East in June 2021.


On the ground

We take pride in our events to tangibly showcase our mission, partner with organisations who share our values and include the public in what we do. This year, our annual Global Reporting Summit returned to London and online where the international journalism community discussed the realities of reporting about some of the most pressing issues of our time. Our Media Freedom panel and private roundtable discussions with Al Jazeera Media Network, chaired by Rebecca Vincent, UK Bureau Director of Reporters Without Borders, were fruitful conversations between industry leaders about how journalists can stay safe online. And finally, our virtual event, Feeling the Heat, with the BBC was a successful webinar as part of the COP26 Resilience Hub

People first 

One World Media’s most valuable currency is its people. We were so glad to welcome Jon Snow to the OWM family as he became patron of the charity this year. And Victoria Bridges who recently took the position of Acting Director

As we come to the close of another year, we are filled with hope for new opportunities that will bolster our work and gratitude for all we have achieved. We look forward to bringing you more stories and talent, events, awards and resources in 2022. Thank you for all your support.