NEW DELHI: Two teams of intrepid journalists from international news agency Reuters today bagged two of the five Kalinga-FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism for 2019. The BBC of the UK, Germany-based European Press Photo Agency (EPA), and PBS News Hour of USA shared the other three awards.
The awards were presented to the winners by former President of India Pranab Mukherjee here this evening. Each Awardee received a cheque for Rs 1,00,000, a trophy, a medal and a certificate of merit.
These annual awards were instituted this year by the New Delhi-based Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia (FCC) in collaboration with the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), a Bhubaneswar (Odisha)-based deemed university, which attracts students from 50 countries.
The awards, the first of their kind in India, are aimed at encouraging extensive and informed coverage in the global media of India and seven other countries in South Asia that constitute the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), namely: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The region accounts for a fourth of the global population.
The Print Journalist of the Year Award went to the nine-member Team Reuters for the exhaustive coverage of the Rohingya issue in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The team comprised Zeba Siddiqui, Andrew R.C. Marshall, Mohammad Ponir Hossain, Soe Zeya Tun, Simon Lewis, Clare Baldwin, Weiyi Cai, Wa Lone, and Kyaw Soe Oo.
The Digital Journalist of the Year Award went to another eight-member Team Reuters for the excellent coverage of pollution in India’s capital New Delhi with detailed graphics. The team consisted of Simon Scarr, Gurman Bhatia, Prasanta Kr Dutta, Rajshree Deshmukh, Han Huang, Adnan Abidi, Altaf Hussain, and Raju Gopalakrishnan.
Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC’s India Correspondent, won the Television Journalist of the Year for her coverage of the Me-Too Movement in Bollywood.
Harish Tyagi of EPA won the Photo Journalist of the Year Award for his painstaking photographic documentation of how pollution is killing River Yamuna.
Rakesh Nagar of PBS News Hour received the Video Journalist of the Year Award for “Music in the Mountains,” a documentary about how a Jesuit priest is bringing about change by teaching music to poor children in Kalimpong.
A jury headed by Sir Mark Tully picked the winners from entries received of work done by contestants in 2018.
The competition for the awards is open to foreign and Indian journalists who publish or broadcast their work in news outlets outside South Asia. Entries for next year’s Awards will be invited in January 2020.