VOA Middle East Correspondent Heather Murdock documented the drive by coalition forces to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State militants. Throughout that period, and the ensuing battle for Raqqa, Murdock repeatedly traveled as closely as possible to the front lines accompanied only by a single driver/fixer to document the fighting and to deliver numerous moving text and video reports on the suffering of the civilians who were forced from their homes. Some of her most powerful reports recounted the stories of newly liberated civilians describing the hardships and terror they had experienced under IS rule.
Her Facebook Live webcasts from the refugee camps and battle zones routinely attracted tens of thousands of views. For her courage, enterprise, and journalistic skill, Murdock was a 2017 recipient of the David Burke Award.