UN Television Series “UN in Action” Records Episode 1,500

In December 2015, United Nations Television achieved a major milestone with the production of show number 1,500 of its short feature series “UN in Action.”

“UN in Action” was created in October 1987 when the Department of Public Information decided that it needed a more cheaply produced short format video feature (instead of the more expensive long format documentaries produced then in 35/16 mm film).

Over the years the series won many awards at film festivals. The series helped to create CNN’s well known programme “CNN World Report.” In fact, UNTV was the very first contributor to CNN World Report. UN in Action stories won “best report” at CNN on many occasions.

The fact that the series remains in production in the six official languages is truly an accomplishment and achievement for United Nations Television. The series boasts a distribution network of some 116 international broadcasters. Several entities – internal and external – post regularly stories from the series on their web pages and distribute them through their own social media platforms.

UN In Action highlights the work of the United Nations in the field and works in close cooperation with UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes. Topics range from peace-keeping, social and economic issues, justice and human rights, as well as many other themes.

Stories are told from the perspective of beneficiaries, highlighting projects, initiatives and innovative social development ideas implemented by UN staff and NGO partners “on the front lines.” UN in Action helped to create and articulate a style of reporting known today as “development journalism.”

Related information

UN film wins 1st Place at 2015 MY HERO International Film Festival

Every year, thousands of aid workers around the world put their lives in danger daily to help people in need. Join us in congratulating one of them here, UN staffer Ken Payumo, who has received the “2015 Humanitarian Award” from the MY HERO International Film Festival.

In early 2014, Payumo, then an unarmed civilian, was in charge of the UN compound in Bor, South Sudan to which 12,000 civilians had fled to shelter from heavy fighting during the height of the violence that erupted in December 2013. At the time, Payumu found himself facing an official accompanied by 80 armed soldiers insisting on entering the compound. He feared that they would round up and kill many inside. Despite being threatened, he refused to let them in – and the civilians inside remained unharmed.

A short film about the incident, made for UNTV, has won 1st Place in the festival’s Human Rights category and also the Ron Kovic Peace Prize.

A version of the film has also appeared on UNTV’s flagship programme called 21st Century.