x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

James Reinl takes award for Haiti earthquake coverage

The National's UN correspondent wins United Nations Foundation Prize for his coverage of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.

NEW YORK // James Reinl, the UN correspondent for The National, has won a bronze prize for his coverage of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, where he reported from the ground on the disaster's impact, subsequent aid work and how corruption hindered progress.

Reinl, 35, also covered a UN donor conference in April and returned to the Caribbean in July to assess the faltering progress in reconstruction. The United Nations Foundation Prize is awarded to those who best cover the humanitarian and development aspects of the UN and its agencies.

Ian Williams, the chair of the UN Correspondents Association's awards committee, said the judges had a difficult job determining the finalists. "They took into account whether entrants had taken risks in developing and publishing their entry, in addition to the standard journalistic criteria of fact-based reporting," he said.

"As always in journalism, being in the right place at the right time is a big factor, but it takes professional skills to take advantage of that."

Reinl has covered the UN since The National was launched in April, 2008. He has covered many of the official visits of Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, and has reported on the world body's operations in Egypt, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Before moving to New York, Reinl spent four years working in Dubai. He also worked as a court reporter in London, his home town.

"I'm grateful our coverage has been recognised, and look forward to returning to Haiti next month for the one-year anniversary and updating The National's readers on whether donor dollars are making life better for ordinary Haitians," Reinl said.

sdevi@thenational.ae