KARACHI: Twelve journalists received 'Lab Azad' awards on Wednesday for extraordinary reporting on human rights. The award distribution ceremony was organised by the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and Centre for Communication Programmes Pakistan (CCPP) in partnership with Palladium Pakistan.
The awards were given for rights-based news stories published in four categories between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
Speaking on the occasion, CEJ Director Kamal Siddiqi expressed his pleasure at partnering with the CCPP and Palladium Pakistan to recognise rights-based reporting. He added that the CEJ would start its masters in journalism programme next year and try to include rights-based reporting in the curriculum.
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CCPP Director Atif Ikram said the motive behind constituting the award was to promote and recognise beat reporting. "We want this award to be independent, impartial and owned by the journalist community at large," he said.
Chief guest at the ceremony Javed Jabbar said the CEJ-CCPP awards would help inspire journalists to reach new heights.
The panel of judges included journalists Rahimullah Yusufzai, Afiya Zia, Farah Zia and Hafiz Tariq Mehmood. Such awards will encourage journalists to write on socio-economic issues that have a direct impact on the lives of people, Yusufzai said.
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In the mainstream broadcast (TV/Radio) category, the award for reporting on health rights with focus on access to services was presented to Amina Shaheen of Geo TV. Shayan Saleem of Samaa TV received an award for reporting on population growth while Shumaila Jaffrey of the BBC was honoured for her work on reproductive health and family planning.
In mainstream print or online journalism in English, the award for reporting on health rights with focus on access to services was given to Yousaf Ajab Baloch of Balochistan Point, while Bilal Karim Mughal and Saher Baloch received awards for reporting on population growth and realisation of human rights at Dawn. The award for reporting on women rights with focus on reproductive health and family planning was presented to Atika Rehman, Fahad Naveed and Munnazzah Raza of Dawn.
For journalistic work in mainstream print or online mediums in Urdu, the award on health rights with focus on access to services was received by freelance journalist Muhammad Atif Sheikh. Syed Sajjad Kazmi of Daily Dunya received award for reporting on population growth and realisation of human rights, while Fariha Fatima of ARY News was presented with award for reporting on women rights with focus on reproductive health.