CNN takes the Young Journalist Award to Pakistan

MUMBAI: Going by the tremendous response to the CNN Young Journalist Award (YJA) last year, which was launched to recognise quality journalism among media professionals between the age of 22 to 26 from the electronic, online and print media; CNN today announced the second edition of the awards. This year the awards will be extended to Pakistan as well.    

The winners of YJA 2004 will win a week's trip to CNN's headquarters in Atlanta for an in-depth overview of CNN’s distinctive news gathering strengths. The runners-up will get to spend a similar period at the CNN Bureau in New Delhi and Islamabad. The last date for entries is 15 October.

Announcing the same, CNN New Delhi bureau chief Satinder Bindra said, "The world over, journalists are exhorted to be people of high integrity, and to follow the principles of fairness, balance, and objectivity. The CNN YJA seeks to reward young reporters in India and Pakistan who pursue these fundamental tenets of journalism while practicing their craft. Through these awards, CNN hopes to nurture journalistic brilliance among young and aspiring journalists. The CNN YJA 2003 elicited an overwhelming response and the quality of the entries was impressive."

CNN International anchor Monita Rajpal said, "CNN pioneered the genre of 24-hour news in the 1980s, and changed the face of broadcast journalism. These changes are reflected in this part of the world too with several news channels coming up recently owing to an increased interest in news viewing. With the role and importance of the media thus increasing substantially, CNN launched the Young Journalist Award in 2003 to recognize and encourage journalistic excellence. In its first edition, CNN YJA received an overwhelming response. Enthused by this success, CNN has decided to extend the second edition of the award to Pakistan as well."

Last year, the CNN YJA was awarded to Sidharth Pandey of NDTV 24x7 in the TV category and Business Today's Kushan Mitra in the print and online category. Whereas Aaj Tak's Rahul Kanwal and's Shruti Gupta were the runners-up in the two categories respectively. Also Sahara India Media and Entertainment's Siddhinath Vishwakarma was awarded a special prize in the television category.

Said Bindra, "There is a vast pool of talent in India and Pakistan and we as journalists want to recognise that. There are 48 million cable homes in India and more than 4000 dailies and these awards are our way of paying a tribute to the hard work of all those who make this possible."

CNN is leaving no stones unturned to promote these awards. They will be sending out direct mailers to all organisations - big and small - to create awareness among the journalists. Advertisements of the CNN YJA 2004 will be placed in regional newspapers. Also after promoting the awards in India, Bindra and Rajpal will head to Islamabad to create awareness in Pakistan.

This year's YJA would be adjudged by a panel comprising distinguished television and print journalists, the names of whom, have not yet been disclosed.

Journalists in the television and print/online media can apply. Those in television in India will have to submit a feature style television news package that has been produced and aired between 1 January and 30 September. The submission must relate to a general news story relevant to any part of India. For the print/online category entries must include three copies of an original or photocopy of the news article written solely by the entrant and published in an Indian publication or on an Indian website during the period 1 January 2004 to 30 September 2004.

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