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Indonesian reporter Pramono receives AFP’S 2013 Kate Webb Prize in Jakarta

Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency presented the Kate Webb Prize, awarded for courageous frontline reporting, to investigative journalist Stefanus Teguh Edi Pramono at a  ceremony in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Monday evening, September 30.

 

Pramono, 32, won the annual cash prize, worth 3,000 euros (around 4,000 USD) for his exceptional series of stories on Syria’s bloody and protracted civil war and for his audacious undercover investigation into Jakarta’s dangerous and often heartbreaking drug underworld.

The reporter, who produced his work for Tempo, a media group noted for its daring reporting during Indonesian dictator Suharto's more three-decade rule, was handed the prize certificate by AFP’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director Gilles Campion at a ceremony held in the Indonesian capital’s historic Antara Gallery.

"Not only is this award the proudest moment of my life, it also makes me want to be like Kate Webb -- a tough journalist who did tremendous work," said Pramono.

"The media's job is not to just report the fighting, but to also report on the impact of war on ordinary people's lives," he added.

Gilles Campion hailed Pramono’s achievement, noting that his fearless reporting in the face of danger to his own safety made him a very worthy winner of the prize, which commemorates one of AFP’s most storied foreign correspondents, Kate Webb, who capped off her long journalism career in the agency’s Jakarta bureau.

“Pram’s talent and bravery while reporting in risky circumstances remind us of Kate. He truly deserves this award and we are very proud to present it to him,” Campion said. “We hope his courage and tenacity in going after tough stories will serve as an example to many young reporters in the region.”   

Pramono, a Bahasa-language reporter, is the fourth winner of the Kate Webb Prize, which rewards locally-engaged Asian journalists for exceptional work produced while operating in dangerous or difficult circumstances.

Without previous experience as a war correspondent, the enterprising Pramono set off to Syria in October 2012 to cover the country's spiraling civil war, one of few Indonesian journalists to do so, producing a series of outstanding articles on for Tempo, a media source of note in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

In his undercover work on the Jakarta narcotics trade in 2012, Pramono and a colleague managed to infiltrate the murky world of narcotics in Jakarta’s notorious Kampung Ambon district, from where many drug dealers run their businesses.

The first winner of the Kate Webb Prize was Pakistani reporter Mushtaq Yusufzai, who won for his gripping reportage from his country’s tribal zones.

 

About the Prize

Born in New Zealand, Kate Webb died in 2007 at the age of 64 after earning a reputation as a fearless reporter while covering wars and other historic events in Asia during a career spanning four decades. She made her name in Vietnam and also worked in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, South Korea and the Middle East. She was known for her kindness and compassion and became a mentor to young Asian journalists.

The prize is administered by the AFP Foundation – a non-profit-making organization set up to promote press freedom through training journalists in developing countries – and by the Webb family. It was first awarded in 2008.