CEJ, CCPP award journalists for excellence in health reporting
Thirteen reporters from across Pakistan acknowledged for their work related to healthcare
KARACHI: The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA), Karachi and Center for Communication Programs Pakistan (CCPP) organized the first ever "Excellence in Journalism Awards 2016". Thirteen journalists received excellence awards in health reporting, for news stories published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 at a ceremony held at CEJ on Monday.
The winners and runners-up in the three categories are as follows:
Mainstream broadcast (TV, Radio)
Ovais Ahmed Tanveer, Express News
Danyal Hasan, Dawn News
Safdar Hussain Shah, PTV News
Saifullah Cheema, Dawn News
Zofeen T. Ebrahim, Independent journalist
Muhammad Suleman, News Lens Pakistan
Izhar Ullah, The Express Tribune
Sameer Mandhro, The Express Tribune
Moniza Inam, Dawn newspaper
District Correspondents (Print, Online, TV, Radio)
Adnan Khatri, The Nation
Mohammad Shahid, AWKUM VOICE
Amjad Ali, Daily Mashriq
Nisar Ahmed Khan, Dawn
Besides the winners and runners-up, work of three senior journalists including Mr. Mukhtar Alam, Mr. Asif Chaudhry and Ms. Shahida Parveen was also recognized for their vast contribution in health journalism.
Speaking on the occasion, CEJ director Kamal Siddiqi said, "Health is a neglected area in journalism and we need to do more in terms of highlighting the issues that relate to health in Pakistan." He added that these awards would recognize people who have written on health and encourage more reporting on this subject.
The panel of judges included Rahimullah Yousufzai, resident editor of The News Peshawar, Wusatullah Khan, freelance journalist and popular talk show analyst from Dawn News and Farah Zia, editor of The News on Sunday.
On awarding journalists for health reporting, Rahimullah Yousufzai said it's a good initiative to recognize the crucial work which has been largely ignored.
Commenting on the importance of such initiatives, chief guest Dr. Seemi Jamali, Executive Director at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) said, "Both the public and private sector have to play a bigger role in training journalists to report on issues like health with the knowledge that is required for such assignments."
Pleased and excited to have won an award, Zofeen T. Ebrahim said such acknowledgment demonstrates that health has emerged as an issue of major interest. "I am happy to note that CEJ is playing such as important role in the development of this interest," she added.
Ovais Ahmed Tanveer, who won an award in the category of mainstream broadcast, said health beat is a neglected beat in Pakistan and more should be done to highlight important issues. "TV channels are not working much on health issues," he said.
Sharing the idea behind having awards for a specific category, director CCP Dr. Atif Ikram said there isn't any established recognition in Pakistan for beat reporting like health and CEJ and CCP wanted to come up with an award which promotes that.
Team leader EVA-BHN (Palladium Pakistan), Dr. Fayaz Ahmed said that the voice of people on health related issues need to be protected and amplified. According to him the 'Award for Excellence in Journalism 2016' on health issues must happen every year till we achieve health related sustainable development goals.
The "Excellence in Journalism Awards" will become an annual event offered by CEJ and expand in future years to focus on other areas of beat reporting.