Environment reporting: As journalism celebrated, businesses pressed to be more open

Awards held to encourage reporting on environmental degradation.


Our Correspondent August 07, 2012

KARACHI:


Why is the circulation of newspapers low despite the fact that their reporting standards are better than those of television news channels, wondered Hameed Haroon, the CEO of Dawn Media Group while speaking on Monday at a Tetra Pak-sponsored award ceremony for media persons who excelled in reporting on the environment.


“Newspapers have a circulation of between 2,500 and 5,000 and I wonder how can so many news channels survive?” he asked. Haroon said that Tetra Pak had not been a very good advertiser.

The awards were held to encourage reporting on environmental degradation, which has the potential to put the country’s food security at stake.

Haroon said awards were not enough to improve the standard of reporting on environment-related problems. Haroon said it would have been better if the company had taken water samples from different parts of Karachi’s coast and shared the toxicology data with reporters. It is not right to put all the blame on young journalists for their recklessness, he said. The problem is that they don’t have a reference point amid a general degradation of public morality.

English daily newspaper Dawn won two awards for its stories on environment and food security. Both awards went to reporter Faiza Ilyas for her stories on the contamination of Keenjhar Lake and high toxicity in fish caught off Pakistan’s coast. Photographer Syed Murtaza Ali also bagged two awards for his pictures published in Pakistan Today. The News International reporter Waqar Bhatti received a prize for his story on the arrival of mangoes. Shabina Fraz of Urdu daily Jang and Ismail Ashraf of Asas were also appreciated.

The awards were held to encourage reporting on environmental degradation, which has the potential to put the country’s food security at stake.

A total of eight awards were presented in four categories: English and Urdu newspapers, online and television. The awards were worth Rs50,000 (winner) and Rs30,000 (runner-up).

Madiha Javed Qureshi and Nausheen Qayyum of the Express News channel programme Kuch Kerna Paray Ga (Something has to be done) won for their work on the environment. Mohammad Khalid of Geo TV and Shafqat Aziz of Health TV also received recognition.
Tetra Pak is a packaging and processing company. Submissions were invited and then an internal panel made the decisions based on content and presentation.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.

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