7th ICRC Humanitarian Reporting Awards at CEJ held

7th ICRC Humanitarian Reporting Awards at CEJ held

KARACHI, Nov 16 (APP): The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA), in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on Thursday conferred awards upon eight journalists for their outstanding contributions to the field of humanitarian reporting.

The ‘Humanitarian Reporting Awards 2023’, held for the seventh year running, were organized to highlight and promote ethical, accurate, and responsible reporting on humanitarian issues including, but not limited to, violence against healthcare workers, disaster reporting, issues related to persons with disabilities, disaster response/preparedness, population movement (refugees/IDPs), climate change impact, etc., a news release said.

This year, the awards were conferred in four categories: Mainstream Broadcast (Urdu & Regional languages); Mainstream Print (Urdu and regional languages); Mainstream Print (English), and Online (English, Urdu & Regional languages) for news stories written or produced between October 17, 2022, to September 25, 2023.

Sidra Dar from Voice of America secured the top honour in Mainstream Broadcast (Urdu and regional languages), with Saher Baloch from BBC Urdu as the runner-up.

Iqra Ashiq, Assistant Multimedia Producer at Dawn, emerged victorious in Mainstream Print (Urdu and regional languages), with Saadia Ubaid Khan from Jang Group as the runner-up.

Hira Saeed Farooqui, a Product Development Associate/Freelancer at GEO News, claimed the winner’s spot in Mainstream Print (English), while Ayaz Khan, an Editorial Assistant at Dawn Newspaper, was recognized as the deserving runner-up.

In the Online (English, Urdu & Regional languages) category, Shabina Faraz, a Freelancer Journalist, claimed the top honour, and Somaiyah Hafeez, another Freelance Journalist, secured the runner-up position. The two individuals showcased exceptional journalistic skills and contributed significantly to ethical and responsible reporting.

Winners and runners-up were selected by a panel of senior journalists from a total of 309 entries from across the country. Jury members included Ghazi Salahuddin – senior Journalist and staff member at The News International; Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud – journalist and analyst, Co-founder, and Director of News @khorasandiary; Afia Salam – freelance journalist; and Shahzeb Ahmed Hashim – journalist, Editor at Dawn.com/Prism.

This year, the CEJ and ICRC also honoured the work of three citizen journalists who highlighted the plight of the underserved through video stories. Their entries were selected from a total of 60 submissions received from across the country, by renowned journalists Haroon Rashid and Sana Gulzar.

Naeem Ahmed was honoured with the Citizen Storyteller Award, with Afreen Zehra and Uzair Surhio recognized as the runner-up recipients.

In his keynote speech, renowned journalist Zarrar Khurro shared the purpose of journalism: to raise the voice of those who are affected by humanitarian issues.

Nicolas Lambert, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Pakistan, emphasized the importance of “access to timely and accurate information in a humanitarian crisis” as it can “help save lives”.

“We are proud of our partnership with CEJ for The Humanitarian Reporting Initiative which has enabled the training of journalists from across Pakistan on the importance of ethical, factual, and empathetic reporting on issues of humanitarian concerns,” he said.

Savio Pereira – CEO, of Dar-ul-Sakoon, emphasized the need to “accept, respect and include persons with disabilities” in society.

Taimoor Ahmed – Assistant Program Manager, CEJ, in his welcome note expressed great pleasure in the collaboration between the ICRC and the CEJ for its annual humanitarian reporting awards for the sixth year in a row, contributing towards improved standards in humanitarian reporting.

“Global events over the last few years have underscored the need for balanced and sensitive reporting – escalating conflicts, refugee crises, a pandemic, and extreme climate events. While hundreds of journalists submitted their work for four categories, I am delighted that for the first time this year, most of our winners are female journalists,” he said.

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