In the tradition of honouring the best emerging journalistic talent across India and Pakistan, CNN International announced the winners of the fourth CNN Young Journalist Award at the Capital on December 15. This year saw the introduction of new categories such as CNN Aspiring Journalist Award and CNN Citizen Journalist Award.
at a gala ceremony in the capital, in association with ITC Welcomgroup, Hindustan Times and CNN-IBN.
Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN–IBN, said, “We are glad to support CNN in their endeavour to encourage journalism across the country through the CNN Citizen Journalist Award. News can happen anywhere, any time, and at many times in an area where we may not have immediate access, it is the viewer who can provide us with an accurate picture of the actual situation. The initiative, ‘Citizen Journalism’ from CNN-IBN and IBN 7, offers a platform to involve the viewers and make him/her an active participant in the process of newsgathering, making television news truly interactive. Through this initiative, we are trying to emphasise the importance of the role a citizen plays in the newsgathering process, thereby influencing society at large.”
Among the winners this year were Rohit Vishwanath (Businessworld, Mumbai) and Tejeswi Pratima Dodda (NDTV 24x7, Hyderabad), who were adjudged ‘CNN Young Journalist of the Year 2006’ in the Print/Online and Television categories, respectively. Vishwanath’s story, ‘Shop Floor Jobs Are Hot Once Again’, and Dodda’s TV report, ‘Children for Hire’, were chosen as the winning entries.
Raksha Kumar, a student of Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College, was declared winner of the ‘CNN Aspiring Journalist Award’ in the Television category. The jury also decided to give a special mention to Piyush Bhatia from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi for his notable performance in the final round. Smita Aggarwal from Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune was the winner in the Print category.
Ajit Jayakar from Mumbai was awarded the winning title of ‘CNN Citizen Journalist of the Year’ for his visuals of the ‘7/11 Mumbai blasts’, which he captured from his terrace. Kalyan S Rathore from Bangalore won the runner up award for his visual clip on the city’s civic officials’ treatment of stray dogs’.
In his congratulatory note to winners and participants of CNN Young Journalist Award 2006, Satinder Bindra, Senior International Correspondent, CNN International, said, “We continue to be amazed at the high standard of journalism that we see every year from this competition. We see CNN YJA as a way to pay tribute to the spirit of unbiased journalism in India and Pakistan. Furthering our commitment to reward promising and aspiring journalists in the country, this year we introduced two new categories – the CNN Aspiring Journalist Award and the CNN Citizen Journalist Award. We are delighted at the tremendous response that we received for all our categories. With the addition of these new categories, CNN has reinforced its commitment to recognise and honour individuals involved in the process of newsgathering.”
The jury for this year comprised distinguished personalities from the field of media and journalism – Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Director, School of Convergence; Dr Muhammad Saffiq Jullandhry, eminent columnist and Professor of Mass Communication at the University of Punjab, Lahore; Nisar Ahmad Zuberi, retired Professor and former Director, Pakistan Advertising Institute, Karachi; Dr Omkar Goswami, Chairman, CERG Advisory Pvt Ltd; Prof Mushirul Hasan, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia University; Prof Atul Tandan, Director, Mudra Institute of Communications; Sevanti Ninan, journalist, author, media columnist and Editor of the online magazine hoot.org; besides Bindra.