The winners for Aster Media Awards 2016 have been announced. They were chosen by a respected jury of eminent individuals from across the region, recognised for their experience and intellectual thought.
Following are the winners in their respective categories:
Aster Media Awards – International (GCC)
Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter at Khaleej Times and Mr. Anand Raj, O.K. Features Editor at Gulf News, Dubai, UAE, have been declared joint winners in the International (Middle East) category of the Aster Media Awards instituted by the DM Foundation.
Senior Reporter - Khaleej Times
O.K. Features Editor - Gulf News
Rewarded for socially impactful journalism within the Gulf Cooperation Council region, the International category of the award is dedicated to the fond memory of Shri P.V. Vivekanand, former editor of Gulf Today in the GCC. The winners will each be given a citation and shall be sharing a cash prize of AED 50,000.
Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare & Founder of DM Foundation said: “We believe that mainstream media has a critical role to play in setting the agenda for building incremental social capital and we hope by instituting the Aster Media Awards more journalists will take up areas of reporting which can produce social impact highlight issues to provide actionable information that will help bring socio-economic transformation. We are proud to dedicate International GCC category award to the fond memory of Shri P.V. Vivekanand who, in his exemplary career as a journalist in the Gulf, had helped further these goals.
Aster Media Awards – National (India)
Two journalists have shared the inaugural Aster Media Awards – National (India) category for their news reports that have had a significant impact in shaping public awareness and driving action on socially relevant issues.
Senior Assistant Editor - Business Today
Assistant Editor - Hindustan Times
Manoj Sharma, Assistant Editor, Hindustan times (HT); and Sarika Malhotra, Senior Assistant Editor, Business today, are joint winners of the Rs 10 lakh cash award, one of the biggest prizes in Indian journalism, instituted by healthcare charity DM Foundation.
Mr Aasheesh Sharma and Mr Asad Ali came in for a Special Mention for excellence in journalism and quality of reporting for a news story published in the HT Brunch magazine.
Mr Manoj Sharma won the award for his news story on resilience and hope among street children that “showcases how capacity building among the youth can have a long-term impact”.
Ms Sarika Malhotra’s well-researched report on child labour in India was judged as “likely to have a long term impact in terms of public awareness”.
Aster Media Awards – Regional (Kerala)
A hard-hitting news story about extreme poverty among Wayanad’s tribal communities has won journalist Sinoj Thomas the inaugural Aster Media Award for socially impactful reporting in Malayalam.
Reporter - Manorama News
Mr. Thomas, a reporter with Manorama News television channel, was honoured for his story about a young tribal widow ,who manages to survive and feed her children with the left-over food from the school mid-day meal programme.
It was adjudged by the award jury as having had “wide-reaching impact”, “bust the myth about the absence of poverty in Kerala” and “resulted in action from the government as well as private citizens”.
Dr Azad Moopensaid it was the endeavour of the Foundation to recognise and applaud the efforts of the fourth estate. “Their hard work and impact on society often does not get due recognitionand their ability to trigger positive public action should always be encouraged. I congratulate Sinoj and wish him the very best for the future,” he said.
Aster Media Awards – Special Mention
Deputy Editor - Hindustan Times Brunch
Aasheesh Sharma, 42, is a journalist based in New Delhi. His present assignment is as Deputy Editor, of Hindustan Times Brunch, the largest read weekly magazine in India. Prior to this, he has worked with NDTV, India Today, The Times of India, Financial Express and the United News of India, at various points over the past two decades. He writes regularly, among other subjects, on social trends, disability, sports, books, people and pop culture. His article about travelling on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology on railway writing, in 2014. He tweets @Aasheesh74.
The jury for Aster Media Awards 2016 was chaired by Diplomat and Scholar Mr. Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the Hon’ble President of India. The award jury also included Ms. Shahnaz Pakravan, Founder – SP Productions, Dubai, former journalist with the BBC World and Britain’s Channel Four; Mr. Rajrishi Singhal, Senior Fellow – Geo-economics Studies, Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations; and Mr. Rahul Sharma, President – Rediffusion Communications, former journalist and public affairs expert.