KARACHI: The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi (CEJ-IBA), in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), recognized the winners of the “Humanitarian Reporting Award 2021,” at a ceremony hosted at the IBA City Campus.
The Awards, which were conducted for the fifth year, were organized to promote ethical, accurate and responsible reporting on humanitarian issues including violence against healthcare workers, disaster reporting, issues related to people with disabilities, disaster response/preparedness and climate change.
The award recognized work in four categories: Mainstream Broadcast (Urdu & regional languages); Mainstream Print (Urdu & regional languages); Mainstream Print (English); and Online (English, Urdu & regional languages). News stories published between September 29th, 2020 and September 6th, 2021 were considered, and almost 300 submissions were received from across the country.
The winners and runners-up were selected by a panel of senior journalists. Jury members included Zeeshan Haider, Editor, BBC Urdu; Arshad Aziz Malik, Resident Editor, Daily Jang Peshawar; Lubna Jerar Naqvi, prominent journalist and IFJ Gender Coordinator for Pakistan; and Imtiaz Ali, Staff Reporter, Dawn.
The winners and runners-up in each of the four categories are as follows:
Mainstream Broadcast (Urdu & regional languages)
Winner: Muhammad Qaseem Saeed – Reporter, Geo News
Runner-up: Muhammad Danial – Associate Reporter, Geo News
Mainstream Print (Urdu & regional languages)
Winner: Muhammad Atif Sheikh – Freelance Journalist
Runner-up: Islam Gul Afridi – Investigative Reporter, Daily Shahbaz
Mainstream Print (English)
Winner: Umar Bacha – Correspondent, Dawn
Runner-up: Muhammad Abbas Khaskheli – Freelance Journalist, The News on Sunday
Online (English, Urdu & regional languages)
Winner: Faryal Ahmed Nadeem – Investigative Healthcare Reporter, Sujag
Runner-up: Shabina Faraz – Freelance Journalist
Runner-up: Saadeqa Khan – Freelance Journalist
Speaking at the event,
Dr. Seemin Jamali, former Executive Director JPMC, was given a special award at the ceremony in recognition for her outstanding work for the humanitarian community. Speaking at the event,
Commenting on the state of healthcare in the country, Chief Guest an obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Shershah Syed said, “Neither the federal not the provincial governments are interested in basic healthcare for the poor.” He lamented that the media was not covering real issues such as education and healthcare for young girls.
Commenting on the changing media landscape, Acting Head CEJ Ayesha Azhar Shah said that for the third consecutive year the award had received the most entries in the online category. Commenting on the entries, she added that the applicants had done exceptional work on a wide range of important issues.
Speaking about the collaboration between the ICRC and the CEJ, the Head of sub delegation ICRC Pakistan said that the idea was not just to build capacity but also establish networks.
Appreciating the initiative, Keynote Speaker Managing Editor Lok Sujag, Badar Alam said, “I can confirm to you there were never so many awards and so many fellowships in, say, the 1990s – and those too on subjects not directly linked to electoral politics and institutional infighting. To me, this means that the coverage of journalism has diversified in the country.”