ESPN’s E:60 has been doing some strong reporting on the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Reporter Jeremy Schaap went to the host site of the 2022 World Cup to report on the conditions for migrant construction workers who are building the stadiums for the event. As Schaap told Awful Announcing, the situation in Qatar is as he called it, a “human rights catastrophe.”
According to E:60’s synopsis of its story, “Qatar’s World Cup,” some 4,000 workers will die before the first match is played in 2022. And Qatar recruits workers from some of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Because Qatar has no soccer tradition to speak of, it needs soccer stadiums and infrastructure in order to host the World Cup.
The report which exposed many of the conditions in Qatar was named the winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the International Television category for reporting on social justice and human rights. It’s the first time that E:60 has been honored with the RFK award and reporter Jeremy Schaap, producer Beein Gim, executive producer Andy Tennant, coordinating producer Michael Baltierra, and editor Tim Horgan will be recognized for their work on the report.
For E:60, it’s a recognition for strong reporting. And as the newsmagazine continues to look at the Qatar World Cup plus this week’s look at FIFA president Sepp Blatter, it shows that ESPN can major in journalism. While there are plenty of demerits at ESPN, E:60 along with Grantland and the 30 for 30 series prove that the Worldwide Leader’s storytelling remains strong.