Rene Ezpeleta Bartolo, columnist and editorial consultant for The Mindanao Insider Daily, Philippines; Amit Jain, an Indian national based in Singapore, who contributes to The Sunday Standard, Kenya; Tran Le Thuy, Hanoi correspondent for the Saigon Times Group and Sam Olukoya, Nigerian correspondent of the Inter Press Service, are the winners of the Second Panos/GKP Media Awards. They will receive US$1,000 each.
On the event Murali Shanmugavelan from Panos, said, "Corruption, transparency and accountability have always been hot issues in the media. But with an added layer of technology to fight against corruption and for democracy, the media's ability to cover this issue has suddenly become more difficult."
The awards will be presented to the winners at the 2nd World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS2), which will be held in Tunis, between November 16 -18, 2005. The awards were co-ordinated by Panos Institute, London and the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and aims to encourage and bring international recognition to thoughtful and incisive reporting. An international jury selected the winners for their journalistic work that explored issues around the theme -"Transparency, good governance and democracy - does information technology increase accountability?" Amit Jain said, "My article was prompted by a report that I read somewhere, which attempted to present a picture of popular support for democracy worldwide. What I found most interesting that it was not so much elections that most people in the world craved for but it was clean and responsible government. So I did some research and found a storm was already brewing in the proverbial 'tea cup'. What was powering this movement, as I discovered later, was nothing but technology, which made sharing opinions and ideas easier." The awards attracted submissions from around the world. It was open to journalists who are either citizens or are living in developing countries as defined by the United Nations. Submissions had to be based on work that has already been published or broadcast in print, radio, television or online outlets.