Friday, November 3, 2023

Malika Bilal of Al Jazeera wins Gracie Award for top podcast host.


Al Jazeera Digital has been recognized with a Gracie Award for excellence in work produced by, for, and about women. The award was presented to Malika Bilal, the host of The Take, Al Jazeera Digital’s flagship news and current affairs podcast. This marks the second time in three years that Bilal has won the top prize in the Podcast Host – News category.

The Take is a weekly podcast that builds on the global reportage of Al Jazeera English journalists, local experts, and people living at the center of some of the world’s biggest news stories. In recent episodes, The Take has investigated topics such as US politics, racial inequality, the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and the war in Ukraine. The podcast has prompted US government action and has been widely praised for its thoughtful and nuanced coverage of complex issues.

Al Jazeera Digital has previously won several Gracie Awards, including top prizes in the competition. Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of digital innovation and programming, praised Bilal and The Take podcast team for their hard work and dedication to covering the most pressing news and current affairs stories of our time in a thoughtful and understanding way.

Bilal expressed her gratitude for being recognized among such excellent company and credited the talented journalists who make The Take the intimate, informative audio journey that it is. She also highlighted the importance of centering the voices of women and their experiences around the world at the heart of so many of our stories.

The Gracie Awards competition drew entries and winners from a variety of news and entertainment outlets, including National Public Radio, Washington Post, CBS News, 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, Vice, Wondery, and Spotify. Meghan Markle, the duchess of Sussex, won in a sister category – Podcast Host – Entertainment – for her Spotify series, Archetypes.

Al Jazeera Digital’s women-led news and current affairs video explainer team, Start Here, also received recognition with a second place Honourable Mention for its on-location coverage of Afghan women. In its on-the-road explainer, What Women in Afghanistan want you to know, the host of Start Here, Sandra Gathmann, and executive producer Julia Mills reported on what life is like for women after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in 2021.

The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on May 23 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, where the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) will honor the outstanding work of women in TV, radio, and digital media. The event is expected to draw a large crowd of news and entertainment celebrities, including journalist Katie Couric, actress Christina Applegate, singer Faith Hill, and podcaster Alex Cooper.

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