Climate change journalists honoured at PII-ICRC Media Awards
With this in mind, the ICRC's New Delhi regional delegation and the Press Institute of India (PII) hosted the 16th edition of the PII-ICRC Annual Awards for Best Article and Best Photograph recently.
The theme for this year's edition was "Covering Climate Change: Humanitarian Crisis in Focus". As part of the event, a photo exhibition showcased the implications of climate change across the world and the ICRC's work in relation to it.
In the Best Article category, the first prize was awarded to freelance journalist Aishwarya Mohanty for her article, "Natural disasters take a heavy toll on coastal Odisha women's health", for The Indian Express.
"The award is my first as a journalist, and it means a lot to me. When there is all this talk about where journalism is going wrong, when you get an award for doing a story that is worth doing, it makes you really happy," Mohanty said while collecting her award.
The second prize was won by freelance journalist Parth M.N. for his article, "In Osmanabad: crop insurance, no assurance", for the People's Archive of Rural India.
The third prize went to freelance journalist Mridula Chari for her article "Battered by climate change, Central India's forest products are disappearing" for Scroll.
Recognizing their invaluable contribution, the jury presented the Special Mention awards to three other media persons. They were freelance journalist Sibi Arasu, staff correspondent of Mathrubhumi Daily AK Sreejith and freelance journalist Ishan Kukreti.
In the Best Photograph category, principal news photographer with the New Indian Express, Deepu B.P., won the first prize for his picture "Between sea and peril".
"This is an effective medium to disseminate the suffering of our people. My biggest award is that since I'm from the coastal area, I have the responsibility of talking to these people and documenting their lives," said Deepu B.P during the ceremony.
The chief photographer with Mathrubhumi, B Muralikrishnan, won the second prize for his picture "Taken by the current".
Prashant Kharote, a photojournalist with Lokmat Times, won the third prize for his picture "The root cause of water scarcity".
In the Best Photograph category, winners of the three Special Mention honour were freelance photographer with Lokmat Times Sathiyaseelan, chief news photographer with Mathrubhumi E.V. Ragesh and senior photographer with Malayala Manorama Vishnu Nair.
Cash prizes were awarded to the first, second, and third-place winners. At the same time, certificates and trophies were presented to the special awardees.
Speaking on the occasion, Kedir Awol Omar, Head of the Regional Delegation for India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, thanked the journalists for their unwavering commitment to put the spotlight on humanity's challenges. "There has never been more urgency to discuss the impacts of climate change. This important event today culminates the need to highlight the implications of climate change through the stories of journalists."
Special guest at the event, R. Prasannan, the resident editor at The Week, said, "We have to communicate in the language of the layman, the reader, not in the language of the expert. Our job is to engage the viewers and cultivate an interest in the subject."
"The PII-ICRC Awards recognize the tireless work journalists and photographers put in, backed by an extraordinary passion for what they do, often sparing little time for themselves, in an effort to bring to the fore stories few know about. We must salute such remarkable efforts by journalists and photographers and keep motivating them and others who may not have won awards yet produce outstanding work," said Sashi Nair, the director of Press Institute of India, Chennai.
The award ceremony was preceded by an engaging discussion that dwelt on the theme for this year's awards. The panel comprised jury members Usha Rai, Senior Journalist; Dinesh Sharma, Senior Journalist and Author and Naga Mallika Gudipaty, Professor of Communication, The English and Foreign Languages University. Sashi Nair moderated the event. With their vast experience, the jury members provided insights into reporting the right stories while keeping the audience's nature in mind.
The ICRC and the Press Institute of India have been honouring Indian media professionals who have painstakingly documented stories of humanitarian concern for almost 16 years through these awards. It is an occasion to recognize journalists across the country for their valued contributions. We thank every journalist present at ground zero for their unwavering commitment to putting the spotlight on humanity's challenges.
Watch the postevent video
The 16th PII-ICRC Annual Awards