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Pakistan in the World Reports: AGAHI Awards 2017 Celebrates Responsibility&Accountability-Journalists recognized in 40 categories

Islamabad;The AGAHI Awards recognizes the efforts of journalists and the media community every year. The best of the media industry striving for ethical journalism from all across Pakistan were recognized as Journalists of the Year in their respective categories today at the Pakistan National Council of Arts in Islamabad on Dec 09 2017.

Ethical and quality journalism enhances collective consciousness of a society that builds a nation’s identity and purpose by promoting free, responsible and democratic utilization of the media. The AGAHI Awards acknowledges journalists’ professional commitment to promoting accountability for safeguarding public interest. The objective of AGAHI Awards is to recognize and appreciate the best journalistic practices in Pakistan, creating a healthy competition within the media, encouraging ethical and professional reporting practices.

Leading opinion makers, senior journalists, policy makers, diplomats, ambassadors, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony.

The ceremony was hosted by Saima Shirazi and Shamoon Hashmi. This year AGAHI Awards received more than 3000 nominations from all over the country in 40 different categories from print, television, radio and online media. The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response from the journalists’ community – reaching more than 6 million Pakistanis through social media and almost 1 million through SMS for the Peoples’ Choice Awards categories: “Favorite News Channel of the Year” and “Current Affairs Anchors of the Year” in Pakistan. Big data and sentiments analysis was deployed to measure the responses for the people’s choice award categories.

Puruesh Chaudhary, President AGAHI and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards while giving the welcome note said, “This year AGAHI Awards celebrates responsibilities’; in 2017 as the nation marks its 70th year of independence – we should recognize the tremendous effort of the journalist community in the creation of this country, this is the strength of free media.

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAHI Awards, in his welcome address said, “Pakistan has completed its 15th year of electronic media deregulation in the country. AGAHI Awards provides that pivot for media to reflect on the professionalism and credible journalism which creates value towards the public.” He further said, “We are happy that AGAHI Awards has created that platform for the journalists to be that voice of accountability in Pakistan and beyond.”

In his message 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 and water challenge. By adopting a collective approach, Nestle Pakistan has taken a lead to promote water stewardship locally. We are also committed to addressing the grave challenge of hidden hunger by providing greater access (in both urban and rural Pakistan) to Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and D fortified products to our consumers. By partnering with AGAHI Awards in the categories of Water Stewardship and Hidden Hunger, we would like to recognise journalists who have raised and identified these key issues being faced by Pakistan”.

AGAHI Awards recognizes ‘accountability’ as the key currency for public trust in this evolving attention economy, where media becomes the platform to promote social values and transparency. AGAHI Awards is the recognition of journalists who have shown personal integrity and professional excellence to make Pakistan a more informed nation.

The AGAHI Awards 2017 Recognized the following “Journalists of the Year” in the following categories:

*        Kashif Abbasi, ARY News (Most Credible Anchor of the Year),

*        Shazaib Khanzada, GEO News (Peoples’ Choice Awards: Favorite Current Affairs Anchor – Male),

*        Ayesha Baksh, GEO News (Peoples’ Choice Awards: Favorite Current Affairs Anchor – Female),

*        ARY News (Peoples’ Choice Awards: Favorite News Channel of the Year),

*        Zara Hut Kay, DAWN Media Group (Jury’s Choice for the Current Affairs Program of the Year)

*        Mazhar Nisar Sheikh PTV World/PBC(Newscaster of the Year)

*        Hassan Raza, Dunya News Network (Investigative Journalists of the Year),

*        Islam Gul Afridi, Akhbar-e-Khayber (Agriculture)

*        Yousaf Ajab Baloch, Balochistan Point

*        Adil Pervez, GEO News (Business & Finance)

*        Shabina Faraz, Express (Climate Change)

*        Murtaza Zaib, VOA Urdu (Competitiveness)

*        Rehan Muhammad, Tribal Post (Conflict)

*        Adil Pervez, GEO News (Corporate Social Responsibility)

*        Raja Kamran, DAWN Media Group (CPEC)

*        Naimat Khan, Friday Times (Creating Shared Value)

*        Sana Jamal, Gulf News (Culture & Tourism)

*        Usman Hanif, Pakistan Today (Economy)

*        Abdul Salam Afridi, News Lens (Education)

*        Shazia Hassan, Dawn Media Group (Energy)

*        Fouzia Zeb, 92 News (Entrepreneurship)

*        Naimat Khan, AF-KAR Affairs (Extremism and Terrorism)

*        Saadat Hassan, Regional Rapport
(Foreign Policy)

*        Saadat Hassan, IRAS (Foresight and Futures)

*        Rizwana Naqvi, (Governance)

*        Zareef Balouch, Haal Ahwal (Health)

*        Syed Babar Ali, Express Tribune
(Human Rights)

*      Sana Jamal, Gulf News (Information Communication Technology)

*      Zahid Gill, GEO TV (Infotainment)

*      Mahrukh Sarwar, MIT Technology Review (Innovative Journalism)

*      Syed Babar Ali, Express (Media Ethics)

*      Syed Miqdad Mehdi, The Nation (Nutrition)

*      Hasham Cheema, DAWN Media Group (Open Government)

*      Zoral Khurram, Express Tribune
(Photo Journalism – Print)

*      Narendar Kumar, Express Tribune
(Video Journalism – Television)

*      Sana Ejaz, News Lens (Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights – SRHR)

*      Arsalan Sheikh, DAWN Media Group (Sports)

*      Syed Muhammad Abu Bakar, The News International (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs)

*      Naeem Sahoutara, KBR, Jakarta
(South Asia Bridge Initiative – SABI)

*      Abdul Salam Afridi, News Lens
(Vocational Training & Technical Education)

*      Samiullah Randhawa, Pakistan Today
(Water Stewardship)

AGAHI and Mishal 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.

The cause of journalistic integrity is furthered by the AGAHI Awards, which are sponsored by many reputed organizations that believe in the cause of promoting ethical and professional journalism. These include Nestle Pakistan, Uber and Emaan Islamic Bank. The Punjab Information and Technology Board, and Planning and Development Departments of various provinces have also partnered for the event and contributed in styre4anghtening ethical journalistic practices in the country.

Inaugurated on March 28th, 2012, the AGAHI Awards are Pakistan’s first ever journalism awards recognizing the best journalists in more than 40 different journalism thematic beats. Through this initiative, AGAHI and Mishal Pakistan, in collaboration with leading press clubs across the country, local and international media development bodies, academia, regulatory authorities and the private sector, have been playing an instrumental role in promoting media diversity.

The AGAHI Awards are the most sought-after journalism recognition in Pakistan. The Awards have been the foremost development initiative for media and journalism in the country. The awards have identified some of the most talented and diligent journalists in the industry. The AGAHI Awards winners have now acquired decision-making and leadership positions across the media industry for “Shaping the Future of Journalism” in Pakistan.

The AGAHI Awards were co-founded by Mishal Pakistan and AGAHI. The evaluation methodology and selection criteria of the awards have been designed in collaboration with the Center for Internet and Media Ethics (CIME) and on the pillars of Media Development Indicators of UNESCO, with input from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Mishal Pakistan is the Country Partner Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative of the World Economic Forum. Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with key stakeholders in Pakistan to improve the state of media and competitiveness through multiple good governance initiatives.

AGAHI is a not for profit organization established in 2011 under the Society Registration Act 1860. Its primary function is to create non-paid communication strategies, content intelligence structures, development collaterals and tools for diverse sectors and organizations. AGAHI encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan. It works on developmental frameworks facilitating information and knowledge sharing platforms on understanding challenges in global perspective. Its research work mainly focuses on national and international security, ICT, competitiveness, human security, and governance. AGAHI in association with several leading national and international partners focuses on creating shared spaces for interactive learning, collaborative thinking, and knowledge sharing. It is at the forefront of devising foresight research and future scenarios work in Pakistan. AGAHI works with highly motivated and qualified professionals who have substantial experience in learning and leadership development.

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