ISLAMABAD: A number of journalists from across Pakistan were recognised and awarded AGAHI awardes for their “excellent” work in more than 40 categories during a ceremony at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA).

Leading opinion makers, senior journalists, policymakers, diplomats, ambassadors, academicians, leading professionals from the media industry and representatives from think tanks attended the award ceremony.

The ceremony was hosted by Saima Shirazi and Shamoon Hashmi. This year AGAHI Awards received more than 3,000 nominations from all over the country in 40 different categories from print, television, radio and social media. The AGAHI Awards received an overwhelming response from the journalists’ community – reaching more than six million Pakistanis through social media and almost a million through SMS for the Peoples’ Choice Awards categories: “Favorite News Channel of the Year” and “Current Affairs Anchors of the Year” in Pakistan. Big data and sentiments analysis was deployed to measure the responses for the people’s choice award categories.

AGAHI President Puruesh Chaudhary and the co-founder of the AGAHI Awards, while giving the welcome note, said: “This year AGAHI Awards celebrates ‘responsibilities in 2017’, as the nation marks its 70th year of independence. We should recognise the tremendous effort of the journalist community in the creation of the country.”

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan and co-founder, AGAHI Awards, in his welcome address said, “Pakistan has completed its 15th year of electronic media deregulation in the country. AGAHI Awards provides that pivot for media to reflect on the professionalism and credible journalism which creates value towards the public.” He added, “We are happy that AGAHI Awards has created a platform for journalists to raise voice for accountability in Pakistan and beyond.”

Speaking on the occasion, Waqar Ahmad, head of corporate affairs, Nestle Pakistan, said: “Media has an extremely important role to play in raising awareness on Pakistan’s nutrition and water challenge. By adopting a collective approach, Nestle Pakistan has taken a lead to promote water stewardship locally. We are also committed to addressing the grave challenge of hidden hunger by providing greater access (in both urban and rural Pakistan) to iron, zinc, vitamin A and D fortified products to our consumers. By partnering with AGAHI Awards in the categories of Water Stewardship and Hidden Hunger, we would like to recognise journalists who have raised and identified these key issues being faced by Pakistan.”

According to a stamen, “AGAHI Awards recognises ‘accountability’ as the key currency for public trust in this evolving attention economy, where media becomes the platform to promote social values and transparency. AGAHI Awards is the recognition of journalists who have shown personal integrity and professional excellence to make Pakistan a more informed nation.”

Ethical and quality journalism enhances collective consciousness of a society that builds a nation’s identity and purpose by promoting free, responsible and democratic utilization of the media. The AGAHI Awards acknowledges journalists’ professional commitment to promoting accountability for safeguarding public interest. The objective of AGAHI Awards is to recognize and appreciate the best journalistic practices in Pakistan, creating a healthy competition within the media, encouraging ethical and professional reporting practices. –Courtesy Daily Times

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