Editors’ comment: Amnesty award for our Hidden Homeless campaign is dedicated to all who told us their stories
PUBLISHED: 14:58 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:19 05 April 2018
Emily Mudie/Amnesty UK
Proud editor alert. On Wednesday last week the brilliant Emma Youle won an Amnesty media award for her (and our) Hidden Homeless campaign.
Clean, safe, secure housing is a human right and the judging panel recognised that. Emma was commended, rightly, for her powerful interviews, her incisive questioning and her use of FOI requests to gather the data that underpinned our original series last year. She probably wouldn’t say it, so I will: she was a worthy winner and I was honoured to share the stage as she collected the award.
But minutes later we were brought back down to earth with a thud as we watched the shortlisted entries in the other categories. Human trafficking. Street homelessness. Migrants drowning in dinghies as they fled war-torn countries with their tiny children. International drug gangs. The torture of ethnic minorities and gay people. The list went on and I felt more and more pathetic and powerless in the face of how absolutely screwed our world seems to be.
Halfway through the evening it got grimmer still: inside the programme were lists of all the journalists across the world who have been killed or imprisoned for doing their jobs. Our colleagues.
They believed journalism was worth putting themselves at risk for; the very least we owe them is to make the most of the safety we are fortunate to enjoy. We might annoy press officers from time to time, but no one is gunning for us.
And so we carry on: with the paper and with the Hidden Homeless campaign itself. The real heroes behind our award are the people in temporary accommodation who bravely told us their stories.
Today, we are appealing for more of them – of you – to come forward, this time to our new Facebook group. Can you help us?
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.