TRIESTE – A snapshot of the world, told in the year of the covid-19 pandemic: the finalist reportages of the Marco Luchetta International Journalism Award 2021 look at the emergencies and critical issues related to the outbreak of the coronavirus and the long periods of lockdown. But on the chessboard of the planet there are still fiery trenches and issues that have remained in the shadows during the months of fighting the virus. We have all had to reinvent our work as journalists, in a year in which travelling to witness events in person had become impossible," explains Alberto Matano, president of the Luchetta Award Jury. "Once again, however, the Luchetta Award has proved itself to be a guardian of truth, an observatory capable of recognising the value of colleagues who often risk their lives to inform us about what is happening in the world. This is what happened 27 years ago to Marco Luchetta, Alessandro Sasha Ota and Dario D'Angelo, the RAI crew sent to Mostar, who were killed by a grenade, and what happened a few months later to Miran Hrovatin and Ilaria Alpi, sent to Mogadishu". Established in 2004 by the Luchetta Ota D'Angelo Hrovatin Foundation together with RAIthe Luchetta Award is promoted to raise awareness among institutions and citizens of the rights of children threatened and abused in the world: a humanitarian spirit embraced by the Luchetta Foundation, which was set up to provide shelter and medical care for children from all over the world suffering from diseases that cannot be cured in their country of origin. The 2021 edition of the Prize is organised by Prandicom and will take place from 15 to 17 October in Trieste.
And here are the finalists of the 18th edition: for the Tv News Category , Vincenzo Guerrizio who for TG1/TV7 has signed the report on youth fights, which exploded from the network to the clashes in presence, in Rome: the long wave of the lockdown and the tensions of young people are mixed with inequalities and new poverty, in an explosive mixture. Stephanie Perez for France2 explored the Isis detention camps in Syria, where even the young and very young children of foreign fighters live in squalid conditions, as if they were imprisoned. Without an idea about their future and possible return, in the silence of the West. Giammarco Sicuro for TG2 Storie reported on the children's camp in Matamoros, on the Mexican side a few metres from the border with the United States, where minors are victims of abuse, child labour and exploitation of prostitution.
Fo the Italian Press section, Alessandra Muglia of the Corriere della Seraher reportage recounts the future stolen from the girls and boys who are victims of the obscurantist violence of Boko Haram, which makes the fight against education its motto. Elena Testi of L’Espresso visited children's neuropsychiatry departments to report on the serious discomfort the new generations are experiencing as a result of prolonged closures: a country that, in order to chase the virus without anticipating it, has forgotten about the new generations, leading to an increase in cases of anorexia, thought disorders and attempted suicides. Luca Attanasio for Domani about the exploitation of more than 40,000 children in the Congo - for cobalt mining in the former Katanga, in a general context of school abandonment and total disregard for their rights.
In the Reportage Section dedicated to Sasha Ota, BBC Arabic/BBC World News will be competing with reporter Fateh Al-Rahman Al-Hamdani's investigation into the systematic abuse of children in Islamic schools in Sudan, where they are routinely chained, shackled and beaten. Arte TV with Suzanne Allant investigated the area of Idlib, north-west Syria controlled by the Assad regime and Russian forces, where the population no longer receives humanitarian aid and children have to leave school to work long hours in exchange for a measly 3 euros a week. The independent European platform Open DDB was selected for Emanuela Zuccalà 's report on female genital mutilation in Liberia: not only legal, but even supported by the government, and even practised as an initiation into a secret society of women only, called Sande, widespread in 11 of the 15 counties of the African country.
Three major publications were selected for the International Press section dedicated to Dario D'Angelo: Ruth Maclean for The New York Times on the mass kidnappings of girls and boys in boarding schools in north-western Nigeria by Boko Haram,José Ignacio Martínez Rodríguez for El Pais on child trafficking in Ghana to Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, Céline Martelet with Hussam Hammoud for L’Orient Le Jour on babies abandoned in the streets in the hope that another family will raise them.
Three highly evocative shots for the Photography section dedicata a Miran Hrovatin: Alessio Mamo for The Guardian captured the via crucis of six-year-old Saman, who pulls his little sister Darya's pram through the mud and snow with his family. They come from Afghanistan and have been turned back 11 times by Croatian police. Alessandro Penso for La Croix portrays the iconic embrace between mother and child, wrapped in a thermal blanket after landing on the beach of Kayia, in the north of the Greek island of Lesbos. And Stefano Schirato for Mind – Le Scienze gives us the meaning of life, that always finds its way: in the cemetery of Kalpalli (Bangalore, India) two children - Dhanush, 13, and Immanuel, 9 - try to repair a kite on the graves. Gravediggers' children grow up in cemeteries, playing where and how they can.