Television

CNN Young Journalist Award 2006 winners announced

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NEW DELHI: While Tejeswi Pratima Dodda and Rohit Vishwanath won this year's CNN Young Journalist Awards, announced at a glittering function yesterday punctuated by rank bad compering, it was the inevitable choice of Ajit Jaykar as the CNN Citizen Journalist Awardee that drew the loudest applaud from the audience.

Jaykar had done the 'biggest story of the year' shooting from his video camera, the first person to capture footage of the Mumbai blasts. It was thus sad that Jaykar was unable to collect his award at the function, for as Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN said, "like all good Indian journalists, he must be working somewhere on a Friday evening.
Jaykar will receive a trophy, citation, Rs 20,000 in cash and a digital camera.

Dodda - from NDTV 24x7, Hyderabad bagged the TV category award for her reporting "Children for hire", on kids being used as domestic help, which was aired on CNN-IBN and which provoked the CM of AP to order a probe into the issue.

Vishwanath, who works for Business World from Mumbai, won the runner-up award for his report on "Shop floor jobs are hot once again" a report on the fact that engineering jobs and not just those in IT, are still a favourite among Indian youth.

Sonia Faleiro of Tehelka (Mumbai) won the runner up award in the print and online category and Poonam Agarwal from NDTV Delhi won the runner up in the TV category.

CNN Aspiring Journalist Award was won by Raksha Kumar from Lady Shri Ram College in the TV category.

The jury decided to give a special mention to Piyush Bhatia from Indian Institute of Mass Communication for his notable performance in the final rounds of the selection process.

Satinder Bindra, CNN's Senior International Correspondent, along with Rajdeep Sardesai and other jury members said the selections were a tough fight between young people who had at least two things in common: passion and determination.

For the Young Journalist Awards, the contestants were given repeated inputs from incidents taking place in Iraq and were asked to report - depending on the medium - either stand in front of a live TV camera and report, or file in print or online.

The winners in all categories were given a trophy and citation. The winners of the YJA will be sent to the CNN headquarter to work for a month.

However, as Gurbir Singh, media editor of Hindustan Times, pointed out, despite the fact that there was a lot of zeal and passion, somehow, in terms of print, basic things like grammar, syntax, writing skills and expression remain to fulfil the highest standards, and "the industry needs to look inwards and see what can be done about this"

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