Three out of the five journalists who received the “Unesco-Bangladesh Journalism Awards 2009” for investigative journalism are from The Daily Star.
The Daily Star bagged two awards in the print media category while Channel-i and Bangla Vision won one each in the broadcast media category.
“Journalists are contributing to the society through investigative journalism,” Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said while addressing the award giving ceremony yesterday morning.
“Investigative journalism is a must to establish accountability and transparency in a country. And it is investigative journalism that helps check corruption,” he said.
The Unesco-Bangladesh Journalism Awards 2009 were given away at a simple ceremony jointly organised by the High Commission of Canada and Unesco Bangladesh. The ceremony was held at the Cirdap auditorium to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
Minister Abul Kalam Azad handed over the prizes of Tk 50,000, a crest and a certificate to each of the five winning journalists. In his speech the minister touched on the tremendous problems and limitations — including financial problems — faced by journalists in their professional practices. He assured everyone of the government’s assistance to promote the specialised faculty of journalism.
Expressing the government’s pledge to ensure free press in the country, Abul Kalam also sought assistance from media in influencing and monitoring the government to realise vision 2021 of the present government.
The High Commissioner of Canada Robert McDougall said, “This award not only recognises the professional excellence of the candidates, but also acknowledges outstanding investigative reporting for its intrinsic merit and for its potential to bring about constructive change.” “You journalists shape what Bangladeshis see, read, hear, think and believe. This is a tremendous responsibility and a great power — this ability to inform and educate,” McDougall added. “Quality journalism has made major contribution to countries around the world and particularly to the growth of democracy and freedom,” he added.
The award recipients are Julfikar Ali Manik, Syed Ashfaqul Haque and Mahbuba Zannat from The Daily Star, Sharmin Rinvi from Bangla Vision and Shykh Shiraj from Channel-i.
The organisers also gave out four honorary awards to Irene Neazi Manna of The Daily Samokal, Sharifuzzaman Pintu of The Daily Prothom Alo, Sultana Rahman of Ntv and Keramat Ullah Biplab of Channel-1.