Syrian Family’s ‘New Life’ Earns BBC Radio Top New York Prize

One of three Grand Award winners at the New York Festivals World's Best Radio Programs.

Monday night at New York’s Manhattan Penthouse, a bunch of Grand, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Finalist awards were handed out to international radio broadcasters by the organization New York Festivals. The group’s annual International Radio Program Awards are judged and voted by an online panel of experts.


Manveen Rana, a senior broadcast journalist with Radio 4, helped the BBC earn the Grand Award for Information/Documentary with her excellent 20-part series “A New Life in Europe: The Dhnie Family.” She followed and reported on a Syrian family which, after two years living as refugees in Jordan, decided to cross the Agean Sea and make their way through Europe.

The other Grand Award winners were The Battle of Britain at 75, a TBI Media U.K. Live broadcast featuring Simon Callow as Sir Winston Churchill, and The Kinder Letters, a documentary by Athena Media that filters post-war Europe through the prism of a children’s book connecting Germany and Ireland. From a summary report by U.K.’s Radio Today:

“To win the Grand Award for The Kinder Letters is quite incredible for us,” said Helen Shaw, founder and CEO of Athena Media. “We’re a small production house and it took us nearly two years to get the documentary made and to reach an audience… The documentary is very much a team effort, but all credit has to go to the researcher and recordist Robert Hope who first met Tony O’Herlihy, the presenter and source of The Kinder Letters, in his German class, and unraveled the story of the ‘danke’ book.”