Haitian radio host honored for 'tweeting' on quake

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The Independent Online

A Haitian radio host who used Twitter to inform the world about the earthquake which ravaged his country was among the users of the micro-blogging service honored at a ceremony here on Wednesday.

"I dedicate this to my country Haiti," said Carel Pedre after receiving a special "humanitarian" award at the second annual "Shorty Awards," which recognize excellence on Twitter.

"May we continue to use Twitter to save lives and change the world," said Pedre, who "tweets" as @carelpedre.

Winners at the awards ceremony hosted by CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, who "tweets" as @RickSanchezCNN, were under orders to restrict their acceptance speeches to the 140-character limit of Twitter.

Not everyone managed although the Reduced Shakespeare Company did.

"Brevity is the soul of twit," said a company member accepting the award in the art category for @reduced.

Winners were selected by a popular vote on Twitter and by members of the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts and Sciences, a body whose purpose appears to be limited to choosing winners of the Shorty Awards.

Its members include actress Alyssa Milano, rapper MC Hammer, New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, all of whom are Twitter users.

The winner in the government category was Cory Booker, the mayor of the struggling city of Newark, New Jersey, whose Twitter handle is @CoryBooker.

"Newark is rising thanks to the power of people working together," Booker said. "Thank you Twitterverse."

@WholeFoods and @SesameStreet were jointly honored in the brand category.

Sesame Street puppet Grover accepted the award and began reeling off the names of 140 characters - Hamlet, Tarzan, Superman - before being cut off.

Australian cell biologist Rachael Dunlop was the winner in the health category for her twitter feed @drrachie while the humor award was shared by David Thorne of @27bslash6 and the creator of @MrsStephenFry.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow was a joint winner in the journalist category for @maddow, declaring in an acceptance speech delivered by video that the award had "renewed my faith in the future of the ampersand."

Brazilian journalist William Bonner, who "tweets" as @realwbonner, was the other winner in the journalist category while another Brazilian, Ivete Sangalo of @ivetesangalo, shared the award in the music category.

Another winner was Janis Krum, the ferry passenger who uploaded a picture on Twitter of a US Airways flight after it landed in the Hudson River in January of last year.

The Shorty Awards, which do not have any official link to Twitter, were produced by Sawhorse Media and sponsored by the Knight Foundation and several corporations.

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