CNN Young Journalists Award coming up mid-December

NEW DELHI: CNN here is in top gear for this year's "Young Journalists Awards" (YJA), with many more entries than in the previous three years and two exciting new categories of awards having been added in the fourth edition, slated to be held on December 15.

And though the channel is expectedly keeping the list of winners closely guarded, there is obvious excitement about the two new categories, "CNN Aspiring Journalists Award" and the "CNN Citizen Journalist Award", Satindra Bindra, Senior International Correspondent told

Bindra revealed: "Entries received this year, have very poignantly brought to light several social issues such as farmers' suicides, child trafficking, corruption in school admissions, anti-national activities, animal rights and protection and many such issues. The stories, by and large, are extremely well researched, and have adequately highlighted the issues they dealt with."

Asked what seems to concern young Indian journalists, Bindra said: "Going by the entries received, clearly, Indian reporters are highlighting social injustice, corruption, anti-national and anti-social activities, and other issues that impact the nation."

What kind of reportage came in this time?

It was all sorts, Bindra said, from automotive writing to medical journalism, from social causes to business and even entries from film, fashion, politics and sports journalists.

He added that the Indian and Pakistani media are growing at very fast paces and this is reflected in the high number of entries received over the last four years.

"There has been an improvement in the quality of filming as well as reportage and this has been reflected in the entries received for the television category as well," Bindra said. Technically, the entries are slightly better than before and the issues highlighted are relevant to modern India, he added.

This year's finalists have displayed good journalism, he felt, but more than anything else, some of them are remarkable for their great resourcefulness and ingenuity while pursuing the story.

The CNN Aspiring Journalist Award is meant for those just who have just appeared or appearing in their final year of journalism college. This award is being given jointly with Hindustan Times, while the CNN Citizen Journalist Award is being given together with CNN-IBN.

Bindra said that the student community had indicated an interest in the earlier editions of CNN YJA and also comprise an important segment of our viewership, which is reflectedin the queries and feedback on programming and current affairs that we receive through our website, and hence the addition of this new category.

"We hope CNN Aspiring Journalist Award will encourage and hone budding journalistic talent in India," he said.

For this category, the participants had to submit an essay in 1,000 words, on the topic, 'Are sting operations justified?' The short-listed participants will be invited to New Delhi to participate in an on-the-spot contest. The winners of this contest will then be declared as the CNN Aspiring Journalist of the Year

"CNN Young Journalist Awards aims to promote young emerging journalists in India. We endeavour to provide them with the right platform to ensure their success. The journalists and the students, who have participated this year, have displayed good potential and as they grow, are capable of creating a mark for themselves in the industry," he said.

The CNN Citizen Journalist Award too is a new category introduced this year. Bindra said that Citizen Journalism has been a distinctive and definitive identity of CNN-IBN since its launch in India earlier this year. "At CNN, we have expanded 'Citizen Journalism' by recently launching I-Report initiative. This initiative allows a CNN viewer who captures compelling content with a personal cell phone, camera or other device to be a part of telling the world what is happening through the unsurpassed reach of CNN.

CNN Citizen Journalist Award aims to acknowledge and recognize these citizens who are, in a manner of speaking, journalists. This Award will recognize and celebrate the inseparable partnership between citizens and media in influencing and shaping the course of developments in the world around us.

For the CNN Citizen Journalist Award, the winner will be chosen from the images/video files received from citizens and broadcast on CNN-IBN.

All the entries are judged equally on the basis of content and presentation. The jury comprises of distinguished personalities from the field of media and journalism, and this year senior scribes at CNN-IBN were also part of the evaluation team.

After receiving all the entries from India and Pakistan, the top entries are short-listed and the winners and runners up are then chosen from this list.

The winners of the CNN Young Journalist Award will spend a week at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta, where they will meet with CNN International's editors and anchors, and experience first-hand the workings of CNN's editorial and programming teams.

The runner up in the Television and Print/Online Category will be given the opportunity to visit and assist the CNN news bureau in New Delhi for a week.

The winners of 'CNN Aspiring Journalist Award' in the Television category will also earn an opportunity for an internship with the CNN-IBN bureau either in New Delhi or Mumbai for a month, and the winner in the Print category will get an internship with the Hindustan Times bureau in New Delhi or Mumbai for the same period, Bindra added.

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