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Pakistani writer's Instagram project bags social media journalism award in New Delhi

Updated August 03, 2019

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The Everyday Pakistan presentation being delivered by Rohan of Being Dilliwaala as founder Anas Saleem could not obtain a visa, at the SM4E 2019 awards in New Delhi on Friday. — Photo courtesy Subhashish Panigrahi
The Everyday Pakistan presentation being delivered by Rohan of Being Dilliwaala as founder Anas Saleem could not obtain a visa, at the SM4E 2019 awards in New Delhi on Friday. — Photo courtesy Subhashish Panigrahi

Everyday Pakistan, an Instagram project that seeks to defy the stereotypes about Pakistan through pictures, was declared a winner in the Citizen Media and Journalism category at the Social Media for Empowerment 2019 awards in New Delhi on Friday.

Anas Saleem, a freelance writer from Faisalabad, is the brains behind the Everyday Pakistan project, which was launched in February, 2018.

According to Quartz India: "Inspired by Everyday Mumbai, an Instagram project that curates images of life in India’s financial capital, Saleem realised there was no similar account for the cities of Pakistan. So he created one on his own, launching Everyday Pakistan."

The contest was co-organised by New Delhi-based Digital Empowerment Foundation and Facebook.

Social Media for Empowerment, known more commonly as SM4E, is a "platform that identifies, recognises and honours initiatives that leverage the power of social media to bring about a change," says its website.

Every year, since 2013, it has held awards with a view to providing participants as well as those attending to connect and become part of a network "to gain a greater understanding of social and digital media usage as well as share their own best practices, campaigns and experiences".

"We encourage government stakeholders, young journalists, activists, professionals, entrepreneurs, civil society, private stakeholders, social media network providers, social media stakeholders, students, experts, and individuals to participate," explained the platform in its concept note.

Other countries that participated in the contest — which was open to South Asian countries — were Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The contest involved recognising work across six different categories:

  1. Blogging, Vlogging & Storytelling
  2. Citizen Media & Journalism
  3. Community Mobilisation
  4. Communication, Advocacy & Development Activism
  5. Social Commerce, Crowdsourcing and Crowd Funding
  6. Social Inclusion

The Citizen Media and Journalism category that received 180 entries and was won by EverydayPakistan "acknowledges initiatives by open media enthusiasts who use social media platforms as a channel to broadcast their views, real time stories and pictures for those who are voiceless and may not have any mainstream media platform".

The entries were judged based on the following factors:

  • Content & Services: Quality of content and services delivery; relevance of content and its utility value.
  • Impact and Accessibility: Social impact & the commercial viability of the application.
  • Functionality: The user friendliness & interactive nature of the application.
  • Strategic Value: Uniqueness and comprehension value of the idea & strategy.
  • Benefit & Utility: The real beneficiaries of the Campaign/Project.
  • Cause behind the initiative: What is the major reason behind initiating the Project/Campaign?
  • Overall Experience: Challenges they came across during the execution of the Project.

Saleem took to Instagram to share the news and to thank friends from New Delhi who presented his work on his behalf.

Other Everyday projects from across the globe can be viewed here.