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Celebrating Seven Years of Shaping the Future of Journalism; AGAHI Awards Recognizes 47 Journalists for Excellence and Ethics

Shaping the Future of Journalism by Data and Fact Driven Reporting One Story at a Time.

Islamabad, PK – November 25, 2019 – Pakistan’s prestigious and most-sought after journalism recognition, the AGAHI Awards, recognizes 47 journalists for media excellence and ethics. The AGAHI Awards in its seventh year received thousands of submissions in more than 40 categories from across Pakistan. 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 the annual event in Pakistani media to benchmark journalism in Pakistan according to the international standards. These awards aim to celebrate excellence in journalism, recognizing courage and commitment showcasing outstanding contributions of journalists from across the country. 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 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.

The objective of AGAHI Awards is to r¬ecognize 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 of UNESCO’s Pillars of Media Development Indicators (MDI) in collaboration with Center for Internet and Media Ethics.

Leading opinion-makers, field reporters, senior journalists, policymakers, diplomats, ambassadors, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony. Danish Ambassador Rolf Michael Hay Pereira Holmboe, Ambassador Andrulla Kaminara, the Head of Delegation of the European Union Mission to Pakistan, Former Secretaries Muzaffar Qureshi and Syed Kamal Shah along with leading academics conferred the awards to the winners of AGAHI Awards 2019.

Puruesh Chaudhary, President AGAHI and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards in her keynote address said, “open-data, right to information and access to resources are critical drivers of research and innovation that enable a knowledge economy; to carry this momentum in the right direction, freedom of media is one of the most important instrument for the society to prosper’

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAHI Awards, shared his vision for creating the awards and said “journalism is evolving from institution centric to people centric journalism, the AGAHI Awards is a catalyst to recognize the best knowledge creators in the society for a more informed and interconnected ecosystem, journalists winning today, show storytelling skillsets, techniques and comprehension of issues impacting the society”. He further said, “Journalism in Pakistan is at par with international standards in terms of fairness, quality and professional competence”.

Imran Rana, Head of Corporate Communications & Customer Services of PSO said, “As the strategic partner of AGAHI Awards, we are delighted to be part of this journey of Shaping the Future of Journalism in Pakistan. PSO is the largest company in the oil marketing sector of the country and as a responsible corporate citizen believes in giving back to the society. The company is also sponsoring the awards in energy, environment and CSR categories with an aim to acknowledge the efforts being made by our journalist fellows in creating awareness for a sustainable development of the country through innovative approach in content creation for masses”.

Speaking at the occasion, Waqar Ahmad Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestle Pakistan said, “Media has an extremely important role to play in raising awareness on Pakistan’s nutrition challenge. By adopting a collective approach, Nestlé Pakistan is committed to addressing the grave challenge of hidden hunger by providing greater access (in both urban and rural) Pakistan.

The ceremony was hosted by Syed Shamoon Hashmi and Tanzila Mazhar. The evening was sought after a commitment to promote ethical journalistic practices for safeguarding public interest. The Awards are aimed at establishing quality journalism to further enhance the collective consciousness of the society that fosters elimination of violence against women doctrine across the region resulting in objective journalism, bolstered by social responsibility.

The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response from the journalists’ community – reaching more than 5 million Pakistanis through social media and almost 1.5 million through SMS 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.

The following journalists are the winners for the “Journalist of the Year 2019, Reporting On:

Accountability: Abdul Waseem Abbasi
Agriculture Policy: Mohammad Hussain Khan
China Pakistan Relations: Zamir Assadi
Climate change: Islam Gul Afridi
Conflict: Farhat Javed Rabani
Corporate Social Responsibility: Fayaz Ahmad
Creating Shared Value: Zeeshan Anwar
Culture and Heritage: Rahim Bux Sagar/
Waqa M. Khan
DATA Journalism: Maimuna Raza
Democracy 2019: Abdul Rasheed
Ease of doing Business: Mubarak Zeb Khan
Economy: Farooq Baloch
Education: Shafaq Rafi
Eliminating Hidden Hunger: Muhammad Atif Sheikh
Energy: Zulqarnain Hundal
Entrepreneurship: Saima Shabir
Environment: Umer Nangiana
Extremism and Terrorism: Umar Bacha
Foreign Policy: Ammad Khaliq
Foresight Futures: Syed Babar Ali
Forth Industrial Revolution: Ramsha Jahangir
Global Dignity: Muhammad Ibrahim
Governance: Munawar Ali Rajput
Health: Karim Islam
Human Rights: Shumaila Jaffery
Identity: Ummara Sheraz
Inclusiveness: Shazia Hasan
Infotainment: Faisal Zafar
Innovation: Sana Jamal
Innovation Journalism: Mahrukh Sarwar
Media Ethics: Rizwana Naqvi
Out of School Children: Arshad Yousafzai
Photojournalism: Zoral Khurram Naik
Police Reforms: Adnan Aamir
Rule of Law: Ahmad Sarfaraz
SRHR: Makhdoom Muhammad Shahab Uddin
Sports: Sana Jamal
Sustainable Development Goals: Rizwan Ahmed Tariq
Video Journalism TV: Furqan Ellahi
Vocational Training and Technical Education: Ayaz Ahmad
Water Stewardship: Ikram Ullah Marwat
Welfare: Yousaf Ajab Baloch

In the People’s Choice Awards categories:
Favorite Current Anchor (Male): Ahmed Quraishi,
Favorite Current Anchor (Female): Maria Memon
Favorite News Channel of the year for 2019: ARY News.

The Founders’ Choice Awards for:
Investigative Journalist of the Year 2019: Aamir Saeed Abbasi from Dunta TV,
The News Manager of the Year 2019: Zafar Iqbal Ramay from the Express Group.

This year a special award was conferred jointly to Mazhar Iqbal and Pervez Shaukat as:

“the AGAHI Awards 2019 Guardians of Journalism”. This was in recognition for their struggle and contributions to safeguard the interests and rights of the working journalists in Pakistan.

The cause of journalistic integrity is further harnessed by the AGAHI Awards, which are sponsored by many reputed organizations that believe in the cause of promoting ethical and professional journalism based on tolerance. This year Pakistan State Oil Company (PSO), Nestle and UBER played an integral part in Shaping the Future of Journalism as partners for the AGAHI Awards 2019.

The event was a splendid aura of diplomats, ambassadors, opinion and policy makers, journalists and youth coming together to not just honor journalists but also celebrate Elimination of Violence Against Women Day. The event was concluded with musical performances and concluding remarks from the founders.

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. AGAHI Awards were inaugurated in Pakistan for the very first time in March 2012; since then the awards have become an essence of several media development initiatives in Pakistan. The Awards are organized in collaboration with local and international media bodies, regulatory authorities, private sector and other stakeholders.

The objective of these Awards is to recognize and appreciate best journalistic practices in Pakistan, creating a healthy competition within media, encouraging ethical and professional reporting practices. Through this initiative, AGAHI Awards team has been very successful in bringing together government, media development institutions, press clubs, academia and private sector with interest in improving the state of media in Pakistan.

The AGAHI Awards plays an instrumental role in promoting diversity and best practices. Every year AGAHI and Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with multiple stakeholders jointly nominate national and international leading opinion-makers, development experts, media gurus and knowledge professionals to be part of the judges’ panel to evaluate the entries.
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