By: Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: To recognize journalists for media excellence and ethics, eight AGAHI Awards held in Islamabad. From thousands of applicants 43 journalists from across the country falling in 40 categories received recognition. A jury of national and international experts, development specialists, academicians, and media professionals, evaluated the submissions made by journalists from print, television, radio, and the online media.
The AGAHI Awards are an annual award series for journalists across Pakistan. These Awards provide a platform to celebrate and recognize the work of credible and dedicated journalists in different categories ranging from accountability, health, SRHR, Human Rights, Democracy and many more. Over the years, the winners have produced work, often in the face of political and economic pressures sustaining public trust in the media impacting the lives of people all over the country.
The AGAHI Awards aim to encourage fact-based, data-driven news reporting and investigative journalism in Pakistan. The AGAHI Awards celebrate content centric to human interest and impact driven journalism in the country.
Leading opinion-makers, field reporters, senior journalists, policymakers, ambassadors, diplomats, public policy experts, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony
Puruesh Chaudhary, President AGAHI and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards in her keynote address said, “the AGAHI Awards is a commitment to promote ethical journalistic practices for safeguarding public interest. The Awards encourage journalists to use the AGAHI Awards evaluation criteria, to gauge their content to be unbiased, balanced, and accountable. This year we have seen the dramatic rise on the use of technology in education, health, information communications; however, we need to equally reflect on the importance of human expression and media freedom, both fundamentally critical to our collective evolution.
Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAHI Awards, shared his vision for creating the awards and said “the media in Pakistan is transitioning from passive consumption to an interactive model, this transition is not only confronting media sustainability but also creativity and skillset challenges as well. This change is also exposing media to be exploited by both the state and non-state actors for information laundering. We must collectively ensure the journalists and content creators have freedom and independence to work in an environment that supports fairness, truth and accountability in Pakistan.”
Speaking on the occasion, Moonis Abdullah Alvi, Chief Executive Officer, K-Electric, said “K-Electric is the company which adds value to millions of citizens daily. We are happy to be partnering these Awards and would like to announce today, that in collaboration with the AGAHI Awards, a media fellowship program will be developed. The Fellowship program will be designed with the help of the journalists to build better understanding of journalists on key policy and implementation issues faced by the energy sector in Pakistan”. He further said, “we believe that the future of energy in Pakistan is bright and we would like media to be part of this journey, so we create more value for the citizen of this great nation”. The Fellowship program will capacitate the journalists across media for better understanding on public policy options, implementing challenges and consumers’ point of view from an unbiased perspective”. He said, “we are confident that this initiative will be a milestone for both the media and energy sectors in Pakistan.”
The objective of AGAHI Awards is to recognize and appreciate the best journalistic practices in the country, creating a healthy competition within the media industry, encouraging ethical and professional reporting practices that can create a pluralistic information space for citizens access to impartial information, that can be trusted. The stories nominated for the AGAHI Awards are evaluated on a criterion developed by AGAHI on the basis.
The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response from the journalists’ community – reaching more than 5 million Pakistanis through social media for the Peoples’ Choice Awards categories to select the “Favorite News Channel of the Year” and “Current Affairs Anchors of the Year” in Pakistan. Big data and sentiments analysis were also conducted in tandem to measure the responses for the people’s choice award categories.