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Shaping the Future of Journalism by Strengthening Accountability and Content Diversity

Celebrating Eight Years of Shaping the Future of Journalism; AGAHI Awards Recognizes 43 Journalists for Excellence and Media Ethics

Karachi, PK – November 20, 2020 – Pakistan’s most prestigious and sought-after journalism recognition, the AGAHI Awards, recognizes 43 journalists for media excellence and ethics. The AGAHI Awards in its Eighth year received thousands of submissions in more than 40 categories from across the country. A jury of national and international experts, development specialists, academicians, and media professionals, evaluated the submissions made by journalists from print, television, radio, and online media.

The AGAHI Awards are the annual event in Pakistan to benchmark journalism excellence in Pakistan, 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 fact-based, 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.

Leading opinion-makers, field reporters, senior journalists, policymakers, ambassadors, diplomats, public policy experts, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony

Puruesh Chaudhary, President AGAHI and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards in her keynote address said, “the AGAHI Awards is a commitment to promote ethical journalistic practices for safeguarding public interest. The Awards encourage journalists to use the AGAHI Awards evaluation criteria, to gauge their content to be unbiased, balanced, and accountable. This year we have seen the dramatic rise on the use of technology in education, health, information communications; however, we need to equally reflect on the importance of human expression and media freedom, both fundamentally critical to our collective evolution.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAHI Awards, shared his vision for creating the awards and said “the media in Pakistan is transitioning from passive consumption to an interactive model, this transition is not only confronting media sustainability but also creativity and skillset challenges as well. This change is also exposing media to be exploited by both the state and non-state actors for information laundering. We must collectively ensure the journalists and content creators have freedom and independence to work in an environment that supports fairness, truth and accountability in Pakistan.”

Speaking on the occasion, Moonis Abdullah Alvi, Chief Executive Officer, K-Electric, said, “Journalists are information guardians. It is because of their efforts that people can learn about the world around them. I remember reading news stories as a young executive and imagining the events unfolding in my own mind as I read on. That is the power of journalism. To inform, educate and empower the mind. It is an honor for KE to be part of the Agahi Awards. We look forward to supporting and recognizing the efforts of Pakistan’s journalistic community even more in the future.”

The objective of AGAHI Awards is to r­ecognize 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.

The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response from the journalists’ community – reaching more than 5 million Pakistanis through social media 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 2020, Reporting On:

1 Accountability: Gohram Aslam Baloch
2 Agriculture Policy: Asim Ahmed Khan
3 China Pakistan Relations: Faseeh Mangi
4 Climate change: Islam Gul Afridi
5 Competitiveness: Jehangir Nasir
6 Corporate Social Responsibility: Saima Shabbir
7 Creating Shared Value: Aisha Farrukh
8 Culture and Heritage: Kashan Akmal
9 DATA Journalism: Annam Lodhi
10 Democracy: Munawar Rajput
11 Ease of doing Business: Mubarak Zeb Khan
12 Economy: Shuja Malik
13 Education: Shafaq Rafi
14 Eliminating Hidden Hunger: Zain Uddin
15 Power: Syed Muhammad Abubakar
16 Entertainment Journalism: Sarah Atiq
17 Entrepreneurship: Shabina Faraz
18 Environment: Ahmer Rehman Khan
19 EPIDEMICS & PANDEMICS: Mohammad Hussain Khan
21 Foreign Policy: Zafar Ahmed Khan
22 Foresight Futures: Muhammad Zubair Khan
23 4th Industrial Revolution: Adil Aziz Khanzada
24 Governance: Munawar Rajput
25 Health: Wahid Ali
26 Human Rights: Zain Ali
27 Inclusiveness: Muhammad Ibrahim
28 Innovation Journalism: Sana Jamal
29 Out of School Children: Shazia Mehboob
30 Reporting on Women: Muhammad Waseem
31 Media Ethics: Tarhub Asghar
32 Photojournalism: Fazal Khaliq
33 Police Reforms: Rizwan Ahmed
34 Rule of Law: Abdul Rasheed
35 SRHR: Sheema Siddiqui
36 Storytelling: Saadeqa Khan
37 SDGS: Fawwad Raza
38 Taxation: Aamir Atta
39 Video Journalism: Sidra Azhar Dar
40 Water Stewardship: Ikram Ullah Marwat
41 Conflict: Farhat Javed
42 Sports Asim Ahmed Khan

In the People’s Choice Awards categories:

Favorite Current Anchor (Male): Shahzeb Khanzada, GEO News
Favorite Current Anchor (Female): Maria Memon, ARY News
Favorite News Channel: SAMAA TV.

The Founders’ Choice Awards

News Person of the Year: Fahd Husain, Dawn
Investigative Journalist of the Year: Zulqarnain Haider, ARY News

Storyteller of Pakistan – Lifetime Achievement Award: Haseena Moin

This RINSTRA Technologies collaborated with AGAHI Awards to create a new category for the Storyteller of Pakistan. Pakistan’s most prominent storyteller Haseena Moin was awarded the Storyteller of Pakistan – Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her work, commitment and dedication to creativity and diversity.

Collaborations and Partners


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 and accountability. This year RINSTRA, K-Electric, Nestle and China Pakistan Study Center, ISSI played an integral part in Shaping the Future of Journalism as partners for the AGAHI Awards 2020.

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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