The outstanding journalism and investigation into historical sexual abuse in Fermanagh by former reporter Rodney Edwards was recognised this week when The Impartial Reporter scooped The Regional Media Award at the prestigious Amnesty International UK Media Awards 2020.

Rodney's investigation into historical child sexual abuse in Fermanagh, for The Impartial Reporter, collected the organisation’s human rights award for Regional Media.

The Impartial Reporter investigation, led by Edwards, into allegations of historical child sexual abuse in Fermanagh, unearthed 70 victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by scores of alleged abusers. The PSNI has recently arrested 11 people in connection with the cases.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Rodney Edwards’ tireless and sensitive investigation of child sexual abuse in Fermanagh is an example of local media at its absolute best – courageous dedication to the truth and utter empathy for victims.

“The fact that his reporting in the Impartial Reporter led to a large-scale police investigation and arrests, shows the power of local journalists as human rights champions.

“At a time when journalists in Northern Ireland continue to live under threat of violence, the work recognised by these awards is a reminder of how important a free and fearless press is for justice.”

Mark Conway, editor of The Impartial Reporter added: "This is fitting recognition for Rodney's superb work and the journalism of The Impartial Reporter. Rodney led this investigation from the front, he treated the alleged victims with great respect and gave them a voice when previously no-one would listen to them. All at the paper welcomes this recognition and the fight for justice will continue."

In an online ceremony held earlier this evening, replacing the normal event in central London, the Amnesty Media Awards 2020 were presented by a number of high profile journalists who were judges involved in this year’s awards, including BBC News’s Tina Daheley, Channel 4 Unreported World presenter Seyi Rhodes, VICE UK’s Zing Tsjeng and BBC News’s Clive Myrie.

The acclaimed Syria documentary For Sama added to its growing list of accolades, winning the award for best documentary, while Hardcash Productions for ITV Exposure won best investigation with its Inside China’s Digital Gulag programme.

The Daily Mirror, BBC Radio 5 Live, The Sunday Telegraph and BBC News Arabic also achieved top spots in the awards.

Viewers of the ceremony were encouraged to support an Amnesty campaign calling for the release of Khaled Drareni, an Algerian journalist sentenced to two years in prison last month for reporting on an anti-government protest.

The Amnesty Media Awards 2020 winners:

News (Broadcast)

BBC News Arabic Documentaries - Idlib ‘double tap’ airstrike Russia says never was

Regional Media

The Impartial Reporter - Fermanagh Historical Sexual Abuse, by Rodney Edwards


The Sunday Telegraph - Yazidi Women Forced to Abandon their Babies to Isil, by Josie Ensor

Radio and Podcasts

BBC Radio 5 Live - Modern Slavery: Sanu’s Story

Student Journalist

Kenneth Sanchez, University of Kent - Escaping the Chaos: Venezuelans in Peru

Gaby Rado award for New Journalist

Bethan McKernan - The Guardian


Hardcash Productions for ITV Exposure – Undercover: Inside China's Digital Gulag


Tariq Zaidi (The Guardian) - El Salvador: A country ruled by gangs

Digital Innovation

BBC World Service - El Helicoide: From shopping mall to torture prison

News (Written Word)

The Daily Mirror – Daily Mirror in Yemen, by Andy Lines


For Sama - A Channel 4 News & ITN Productions Film for Channel 4 & FRONTLINE PBS