CNN awards the best emerging young journalist

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New Delhi, Dec 16: It was an occasion to laud the innovation and creativity of an  "emerging breed of young journalistic professionals" who have attracted notice with their "eye-opening" news stories dealing with varied aspects of social milieu in the Indian subcontinent.

Some of the best emerging journalistic talent across India and Pakistan were last night honoured through the CNN Young Journalist award 2006, a platform to recognise and nurture journalistic talent among young media professionals in India and Pakistan and promote quality journalism.

Rohit Vishwanath from the Businessworld in Mumbai and Tejeswi Pratima Didda from NDTV 24X7 in Hyderabad won the award for the 'CNN Young journalist of the year 2006' in the print/online and television categories respectively.

Rohit Vishwanath won the award for his print story 'Shop Floor Jobs Are Hit Again', a feature story on changing preferences of engineering graduates which - how increasing number of students are making their way towards shop floor jobs in pursuit of a hardcore engineering vocation - while Tejeswi Pratima Dodda won the award for her TV story 'Children for Hire', a report that looked at children sold off as domestic labour in Andhra Pradesh.

Both winners won a week's trip to the CNN International's headquarters at Atlanta.

The runner up for the Young journalist award in the print/online category was Sonia Falairo from Tehelka in Mumbai for the story 'Death of a Grandson and all of Life's Dreams', a tale on farmers' suicides in Vidarbha while Poonam Agarwal won the award in the TV category for her story 'Education for Sale', a sting operation that exposed schools taking donations for admissions. Both runners up get an opportunity to visit and assist the CNN International news bureau in New Delhi for a week.

Announcing the awards for the above categories, Mr Satinder Bindra of CNN International said,''this is the fourth year since the awards were instituted. We continue to be amazed at the high standard of journalism that we see at this competition. We see CNN YJA as a tribute to the spirit of unbiased journalism in India and Pakistan. We are delightes at the tremendous response we recieved for all our categories.''

The winners were selected by a jury comprising of distinguished professionals from media and journalism including eminent columnist Mohhammad Saffiq Jullandhry, retired professor Nisar Ahmad Zuberi, Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Mushirul Hassan, journalist Sevanti Ninan and Satinder Bindra of CNN International. The year the CNN YJA, instituted in 2003, had two new categories - the Aspiring Journalist Award and the Citizen Journalist award.

The winner of the Aspiring journalist award in the TV category was Raksha Kumar from Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi who has won an internship with the CNN-IBN bureau in New Delhi for a month. The jury also decided to give a special mention for Piyush Bhatia from the IIMC in New Delhi. Smita Aggarwal from the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication in Pune is the winner in the print category.

She has won an internship with the Hindustan Times bureau in Mumbai for a month.

The winner and runner up in the 'Citizen Journalist' category are Ajit Jayakar from Mumbai for his visuals of the 7/11 Mumbai blasts which he captured from his terrace and Bangalore's Kalyan Rathore for his clip on city's civic officials' treatment of stray dogs.

While the winner receives a trophy, citation, a digital camera and Rs 20,000 cash prize, the runners up gets a plaque and citation.

Announcing the awards in the two categories, Mr Rajdeep Sardesai of the CNN-IBN said, ''there are millions of stories across the country waiting to be told which the TV journalists cannot cover.

The concept of Citizen journalist in this regard is a unique one wherein there is a constant inflow of pictures and information from citizen journalists keen to tell their own stories. It is such people that we seek to honour through the Citizen journalist award.

The winners in the two new categories were adjudged by a jury comprising HT Media editor Gurbir Singh, CNN-IBN anchor Suhasini Haidar and Satinder Bindra.

Instituted in 2003 to recognise and nurture journalistic talent among young media professionals in India and promote quality journalism, the CNN YJA was in 2004 extended to include Pakistan.


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