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A group photo of judges and winners of fourth Amir Ahmed Siddiqui Media Awards during a ceremony at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday. —White Star
A group photo of judges and winners of fourth Amir Ahmed Siddiqui Media Awards during a ceremony at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday. —White Star

PESHAWAR: Eight journalists got Lala Amir Ahmed Siddiqi Media Awards 2019 here on Thursday for their best stories, features, photos and camerawork.

The awards, an initiative to promote ethical and competitive journalism in the region, have been named after late Amir Ahmad Siddiqui, a founding member of Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ).

The award ceremony took place at PPC and was attended by a large number of journalists and people from other walks of live. Eight awards were given in seven categories together with Rs25,000 cash prize to the winning journalist.

Prominent journalist Wusatullah Khan and KP ombudsperson on workplace harassment Rukhshanda Naz were the chief guests while senior journalist Rahimullah Youafzai presided over the session.

On this occasion, Izharullah won the best reporter award for his feature story about Tandoori chicken for BBC Urdu. Dawn contributor Sher Alam Shinwari received award for best English investigative story on cases of women suicide in Chitral.

Abdul Sattar, a Mardan-based contributor for Tribal News Network, was awarded for filing best Urdu news report.

Farmanullah Jan, a senior photographer of daily Jang, received best photographer award while Zeeshan Anwar and Imran Khan, reporter and cameraman of Hum News, got awards for best video report and camerawork.

PPC was awarded for its services for journalism while Alauddin Adeem received life time achievement award.

PPC president Syed Bukhar Shah on the occasion said that the awards would help to promote good journalism in the province.

Freedom Network executive director Iqbal Khattak said that democracy could not survive without journalism. He said that Pakistani media was currently facing many curbs.

Rukhshanda Naz said that PPC deserved the award given to it. She said that they were also launching a training programme on reporting harassment cases at district level.

Wusatullah Khan urged the reporters to study more and more. “Reading is like oxygen for a reporter,” he said. He said that reading would give reporters words to talk about those things and subjects, which were regarded as taboo.

Jahangir Khattak, the US-based jury member for the awrds, in his recorded message highlighted importance of investigative journalism. He said that technology was one of the emerging challenges for journalists as artificial intelligence was making its way into newsrooms across the world.

Rahimullah Yousafzai, chairman of the award jury, said that Lala Amir Ahmed Siddiqi Awards were only of its kind in the country.

He said that Lala Amir Ahmed Siddiqi family was giving awards along with cash prizes to journalists, which was a great service to journalism.

Faaiz Amir, a retired Air Vice Marshal and vice-chancellor of Air University Islamabad, who is son of Lala Amir Ahmed Siddiqi, described how the family started giving awards to promote journalism in the province.

He said that Sadiq Commission Agency, set up in 1921, was nursery of journalism in the province and was completing its 100 years in 2021. He said that at the centenary year, they would also announce a scholarship so that people could go abroad to study journalism.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2019