Jordanian journalist wins Emmy award for CBS Syria documentary

Tadros, who has worked for CBS as a Middle East field producer since 1990, was awarded the Emmy along with his 60 Minutes team

Ismaeel Naar
Ismaeel Naar - Al Arabiya English
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Jordan’s own Amjad Tadros has scooped an Emmy for his work as a producer on CBS’ documentary on Syria “A Crime Against Humanity,” adding to his successful career of 26 years covering the region.

Tadros, who has worked for CBS as a Middle East field producer since 1990, was awarded the Emmy along with his 60 Minutes team for investigating the horrific story of the 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria’s Ghoutha that US intelligence estimates killed more than 1,400 civilians.

“It was a great untold story, especially for a western audience. People in the Middle East have an idea about what is happening in Syria, but for the level of not understanding the violence in Syria is not that common,” Tadros told Al Arabiya English.

“So for us to get recognized in telling that story to Americans about how bad the violence is in the Middle East and how people are being killed is amazing,” he added.

Tadros, who has won the DuPont and Peabody journalism awards in the past, is considered a veteran Arab journalist who has covered the wars in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Lebanon and was part of the last ever team to interview the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Tadros is also the co-founder of Syria Direct, an NGO with the aim to provide accurate and timely news about what is going on in Syria.

The multiple-award winning journalist Tadros told Al Arabiya English his aim behind co-founding the NGO was to cultivate a better culture of journalism among young Syrians to tell their own stories.

“My experience as a journalist was we were getting fed up with the quality of news being reported out of Syria because it's biased - you're either with or against the government. There was a serious need for us to provide that independent platform in order to tell Syrian stories accurately,” he said.

With time, Tadros and his team started hiring Syrian refugees in Jordan and started teaching them the values of journalism - “mainly accuracy and telling the truth and only the truth,” he said.

Syria Direct has now graduated nearly 70 journalists, some of who have started their own news organizations.

“If I have one advice for up-and-coming Arab journalists is that they need to master telling the human stories. Don't fall into the trap of only sticking to official talking points and figureheads. Get out of the newsroom and speak with the common folk and find out their story,” he said.

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