The One Young World Journalist of the Year Award recognises five of the world's most promising journalists aged 18 to 35. The award highlights the work of young journalists who are creating powerful and meaningful change, providing the essential means to ensure freedom of speech and ensuring human rights are justly upheld in all regions worldwide.
These 5 young journalists have all been selected as winners based on the influential work they have carried out in their countries and communities.
The winners were selected from a shortlist by One Young World’s expert judging panel and will be presented with this award at the One Young World 2023 Summit.
Abraham Jiménez Enoa, Cuba
Abraham Jiménez Enoa is a prominent Afro-Cuban journalist forced into exile. Over the course of his journalistic career, Jiménez Enoa has devoted himself to revealing the true realities of life under authoritarian rule in Cuba. His work has come at the expense of repeated persecution by the Cuban authorities. Despite facing violent interrogations, arbitrarily enforced restrictions, blocked internet access, and house arrest, he continued writing, cementing himself as an outspoken critic.
Jiménez Enoa was a pioneer in the Cuban media community, co-founding El Estornudo, the first independent Cuban magazine dedicated to narrative journalism. It was later one of the first publications blocked by the regime. As a columnist for The Washington Post and a regular contributor to numerous publications such as The New York Times, BBC World, Aljazeera, Vice News, El País, and Revista Gatopardo, Jiménez Enoa has exposed gross human rights violations committed by the Cuban regime. Following his coverage of the 2021 anti-government protests, Jiménez Enoa was confronted with an impossible choice by the Cuban regime. He could either leave the country immediately or stay forever and face imprisonment and the persecution of his family. He fled for Spain with his family soon after.
In exile, Jiménez Enoa published La Isla Oculta: Historias de Cuba (translation: The Hidden Island: Stories of Cuba), a compilation of his articles on the real Cuba. Highlighting the regime’s violent and undemocratic rule, the book highlights the continued plight of the ordinary Cuban in face of totalitarianism. Jiménez Enoa has earned international recognition for his work, winning the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Michael Jacobs Scholarship Grant from the Gabo Foundation among other distinctions.
Hanna Liubakova, Belarus
Hanna Liubakova is a journalist and analyst from Belarus. She is a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. She has written about the latest developments in Belarus for The Washington Post, The Economist, Deutsche Welle, and other international outlets. Hanna started her career at the only independent Belarusian channel Belsat TV, banned by the regime in Minsk. Liubakova reported in four languages from various countries and regions, including Belgium, the UK, Poland, and Chechnya. She is currently writing a book about Belarus.
Liubakova is widely recognised as one of Belarus's leading voices of the free press. Her coverage of the country's protests against the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenka garnered significant attention. Following the revolution, Hanna was forced to flee Belarus and later learned she was on the regime's wanted list. Despite this, she continued to report on the people's resistance, which became even more crucial amid the Belarusian regime's participation in the war against Ukraine.
Hanna is a prominent commentator on Belarus who frequently provides her insights to various global news outlets such as the BBC, CNN, DW, and Al Jazeera. Thanks to her connections with journalists and people on the ground, her in-depth reporting and analysis have contributed significantly to the global understanding of the complex issues affecting Belarus and its people.
In 2021, Liubakova was a European Press Prize finalist. In 2019, she was the first fellow from Belarus chosen to participate in the World Press Institute Fellowship in the US. Hanna holds an MA with distinction in International Journalism from Brunel University London, where she won the Peter Caws Prize for best postgraduate dissertation in 2017. She also received the Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 2014.
Laura Sánchez Ley, Mexico
Laura Sánchez Ley is an investigative journalist and author of specialised books on issues of government transparency and public safety in Mexico. Amongst her most notable investigations is the assassination of the presidential candidate in Mexico, Luis Donaldo Colosio, where she revealed for the first time the irregularities in the criminal case as well as the corruption in the judicial processes. After being reserved as a "state secret" for 25 years she managed to declassify records of the investigation that had been hidden for over two decades and revealed the unpublished information.
It was this experience of declassifying archives, which led her to co-create ARCHIVERO, an initiative that has brought to light political and judicial documents classified as state secrets and made them available to all citizens. A task that she considers extremely important in a country where official truths are constructed every day and relevant investigations are hidden. Among the most important files that have been declassified for the first time and introduced a new generation to high profile cases in Mexican politics, include the murder of Cardenal Posadas Ocampo at the hands of drug traffickers, the Cobalt 60 accident, the worst nuclear accident in the history of Mexico, and the secret files that reveal the true investigation into the death of two secretaries of state. She currently collaborates with MILENIO, one of the largest media outlets in the country, where every Monday on national television she reveals a secret file and publishes investigations on drug trafficking between Mexico and the United States.
She has been honoured and nominated for awards around the world and has been part of the finalist team for the Pulitzer Prize in 2021, the Walter Reuters German Journalism Prize and the World Justice Project's Anthony Lewis for her investigations that exposed government corruption
Mohammed El-Kurd , Palestine
Mohammed El-Kurd is an internationally touring and award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. In 2021, He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine. He is best known for his role as a co-founder of the #SaveSheikhJarrah movement. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and he has appeared repeatedly as a commentator on major TV networks.
Currently, El-Kurd serves as the first-ever Palestine Correspondent for The Nation. His first published essay in this role, "A Night with Palestine's Defenders of the Mountain," was shortlisted for the 2022 One World Media Print Award. RIFQA, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Haymarket Books in October 2021 was later released in Italian by Fandango Libre. RIFQA was named “a masterpiece” by The New Arab and a “remarkable debut” by the Los Angeles Review of Books, it was one of Middle East Eye’s "Best Books of 2021" and was shortlisted for the 2022 Forward Prize for "Best First Collection." El-Kurd holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College (CUNY) and a BFA in Writing from Atlanta’s Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD).
He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Arab American Civil Council’s “Truth in Media” Award (2022), as well as the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation (2023). He is currently a Civic Media Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. El-Kurd has lectured and performed around the world including as the keynote for the 18th Annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Princeton University, at the Internazionale literary festival in Ferrara, Italy, and most recently at Adelaide Writers’ Week in Australia.
Zahra Joya, Afghanistan
Zahra Joya is an Afghan journalist and one of TIME’s 2022 Women of the Year. In 2020, Zahra founded Rukhshana Media, a women-led news organisation covering women’s issues in Afghanistan. In August 2021, Zahra fled to Britain after the fall of Kabul and now manages Rukhshana Media from her home in London. Rukhshana Media covers Afghan women’s issues inside and outside of Afghanistan, publishing in Persian and English. On the one-year anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan, Rukhshana Media, in cooperation with Time and Pulitzer centre, published special stories of Afghan women, and for the first time, two female afghan pilots who became refugees were featured on the cover of Times Magazine.
Zahra has also received the freedom of expression award from the city of Valencia, Spain, and the change maker award from the Bill Gates Foundation. Rukhshana Media was chosen for the 2022 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism and also awarded the Marie Colvin Award 2021, a British Journalism Award that recognizes bravery in reporting. Rukhshana Media awarded the Foreign Press 2022 award from the Foreign Press Correspondents Association and Club U.S