Philippine journalist receives AFP Kate Webb Prize

Multimedia journalist Patricia Evangelista received the 2014 Kate Webb Prize from Agence France-Presse on Friday for her compelling reporting on conflict and disaster in her native Philippines.

The prize recognises exceptional journalism in dangerous or difficult conditions by Asian journalists.

Evangelista spent a month reporting from fishing and farming communities devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded on land, which left nearly 8,000 people dead or missing in November 2013.

She travelled to the disaster zones of the central Philippines only weeks after returning from covering a 21-day stand-off between the military and Muslim rebels in Zamboanga in the south of the country in which more than 200 people died.

"On both occasions, Patricia chose to focus on the people affected," Gilles Campion, AFP's director in the Asia-Pacific region, said at an award ceremony in Singapore.

"Patricia is already an incredibly mature and talented text and video journalist," he said of the 29-year-old Evangelista, who works for the Philippine news portal and the local edition of Esquire magazine.

Evangelista received a certificate and a 3,000-euro ($3,800) cash prize.

The prize is named after New Zealander Kate Webb, one of AFP's finest correspondents, who died in 2007 at the age of 64.

Webb earned a reputation as a fearless reporter while covering wars and other historic events in Asia during a career spanning four decades.

Webb's sister Rachel Miller said at the award ceremony that Webb would have been proud of Evangelista.

"You are a worthy successor," Miller said.

The prize is administered by the AFP Foundation -– a non-profit organisation set up to promote press freedom through training journalists in developing countries -– and the Webb family.

Evangelista is the second Philippine winner of the prize.

In 2009 the Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) was recognised for its outstanding contributions to press freedom.

The prize was first awarded in 2008 to Pakistani reporter Mushtaq Yusufzai for his coverage of the dangerous tribal lands bordering Afghanistan.

Other winners were Indian reporter and photographer Dilnaz Boga, and Indonesian investigative journalist Stefanus Teguh Edi Pramono.