CNN's Cramer to be given 'media leader' award

MUMBAI: Last year, the president of CNN International Chris Cramer was instrumental in undertaking a major initiative to create awareness about the need to increase the safety level for journalists reporting on the field in the wake of 9/11. Now that effort is being rewarded.

Cramer will receive the distinguished media leader award of the Dart Centre for journalism and trauma in New York City on 2 April. An official release informs that the Dart Centre, a resource on traumatic injury for journalists worldwide, will honour the news executive for his unceasing leadership in moving CNN and the news industry toward greater attention to safety training and support for journalists who suffer traumatic stress.

Cramer has urged the news industry to increase both safety training and attention to the risk of traumatic or emotional injury to journalists. The chairman of Dart Centre Frank Ochberg said: "Because Chris is candid, explicit and personal in confronting the emotional impact of covering trauma, he has become the leading spokesperson for corporate responsibility in addressing emotional injury to media professionals."

Besides the citation Cramer will participate in a panel discussion 'Journalists at Risk' along with ABC's correspondent Deborah Amos, BBC North American correspondent Stephen Evans among others.

The release states that Cramer is the honorary president of the International News Safety Institute (INSI), a coalition of individuals and organisations dedicated to the safety of journalists. In addition, he is an honorary chairman of Newscoverage Unlimited, an organisation that promotes the recognition and treatment of traumatic stress among journalists.

At the time of INSI's formation, Cramer had warned of the growing dangers journalists face as they cover wars. He had said: "These are nightmarish times for those working in the news media. The past year has been one of the most testing the profession has ever endured. Journalists are being killed at an unacceptable and unprecedented rate."

Cramer joined CNN in 1996 bringing with him 25 years of experience at the networks British counterpart the BBC. Cramer was forward looking enough to insist back in 1995 that the global news service introduce compulsory hostile environment training. Cramer was responsible for the creation of six separately scheduled English language international channels that serve Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, Latin America, North America, and the US.

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