Lab Azad 2018 Recognising Excellence in Journalism

About the Award:

Lab Azad is an independent award given every year to print and broadcast journalists who exhibit distinction in reporting on social issues. Every year specific issues are selected under which key nominations are invited from journalists nationwide. An independent jury of senior most journalists comprising highly respected names evaluate shortlisted stories against an established criterion for finalising winners. The Award aims to recognise, promote and institutionalise the values of accountability, originality, independence, neutrality and above all issue specialised journalism in Pakistan.

History of the Awards:

In 2016, Center for Communication Programs Pakistan and Center for Excellence in Journalism at the IBA, joined hands for launching the Excellence Awards in Journalism with the aim of recognising and promoting specialised journalism that focuses on issues of concerning people of Pakistan, particularly the marginalised and downtrodden sections of the country. In its inaugural year, the theme of the award was health journalism, under which nearly 200 entries were received from all over Pakistan that competed in four distinct categories. In 2017, the theme of the Awards was rights-based reporting with focus on three key areas:

1. Child Rights, with focus on their interdependency and interrelation
2. Health Rights, with focus on access to services
3. Women Rights, with focus on reproductive health and family planning

Awards for 2018:

To keep the sustainability of awards intact rather than making them health specific, we are again proposing that this year we announce the awards in 3 different human rights. Last year we did the same except that we further qualified each right by linking it more to health, family planning and population. Given that this year again we have a partial contributor to the awards in the form of Sukh Initiative, we can perhaps, announce the awards in three categories, namely:

1. The Right to Health
2. Women Rights
3. Child Rights

1- The Right to Health:

Health is a fundamental right of every human. Right to health is not only about provision of hospitals and medical facilities by the state but above all an enabling environment that prevents diseases and promotes a healthy lifestyle amongst all its citizens. Stories that explore the multi-dimensional nature of health at various levels of the society from both rights holders and duty bearer's perspective will be given weightage for the Award. Special emphasis will be given to stories that focus on issues concerning the underprivileged segments of the society.

2- Women Rights:

The rights that every women is entitled to in Pakistan as a citizen can have many dimensions. Issues commonly associated with notions of women's rights include the right: to integrity and autonomy; to be free from all types of violence; to vote; to hold public office; to enter into legal contracts; to have equal rights in family law; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to have reproductive rights; to own property; to education. It can also include security, freedom, access to services, non-discrimination, rights against abuse and harassment, access to reproductive and family planning etc. Pakistan did not achieve the Millennium Development Goal. In pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is a major leap that the country has to take for meeting its targets and reduce maternal and infant mortality both of which are highly linked to women rights.

3- Child Rights:

Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as "any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." Children's rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child's civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child's race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, colour, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children's rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes "abuse" is a matter of debate. It is important to mention that there are no definitions of other terms used to describe young people such as "adolescents", "teenagers", or "youth" in international law.

About Rights-based Reporting:

The rights-based approach to journalism is a specialised form of reporting that focuses on issues concerning basic human rights of citizens. Empowerment Voice and Accountability for Better Health and Nutrition EVA-BHN has been a pioneer in imparting the training on the Rights Based Approach for the practicing journalists in Pakistan, particularly those working on the beat of health. The rights-based approach explores each story from the perspective of both duty bearers, people who are supposed to provide that right and right holders, people who possess that right. It gives reporting multiple layers to explore at individual, household, family, community, town, city, province and national level. The rights-based approach to journalism also enables each story to identify possible solutions at these multiple levels for citizens and policy makers alike.

Who can Apply:

All journalists who have their stories published in any leading newspaper, TV, Radio or magazine between July 01, 2017 till September 30, 2018 can send their entries through the nomination form. The address and contact number have been mentioned below.

It is worth mentioning that there are four awards under each category; namely

1 Excellence in Reporting for Urdu Newspaper and Urdu Online Content
2 Excellence in Reporting for English Newspaper and English Online Content
3 Excellence in Reporting for TV and Radio
4 Excellence in Reporting for District Correspondence

How to Apply:

Find your story, make a copy of it and submit it to CEJ IBA. You will be informed about the awards ceremony if you get shortlisted. All travel arrangements for the shortlisted candidates shall be borne by CEJ. To apply, click here

When to Apply:
The Last Date to Apply is November 19, 2018

Excellence Awards Ceremony:
The ceremony will be held in the last week of December in CEJ-IBA Karachi.

More Details and Queries:
For more details and queries contact the numbers, website, email and address below:

Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ)
Institute of Business Administration (IBA)
Garden/Kiyani Shaheed Road, Karachi-74400, Pakistan
Tel: +92 21 38104701 EXT: 1701-5