18 March 2014
Kabul- Malyar Sadeq Azad, BBC Afghanistan reporter has been named “Afghanistan Journalist of the year” at the fist AFJC annual journalism award today.
By the initiative of AFJC, March 18 was named as national Journalist’s Day and was celebrated in Kabul and other cities of Afghanistan to appreciate the professionalism of Afghan journalists and to encourage them to adhere to internationally applied journalism standards in their coverage of events inside Afghanistan.
Talking to the event, Ahmad Quraishi, Director of Afghanistan Journalists Center highlighted the significant role journalists play in the war torn Afghanistan, especially in the post-Taliban era.
“Since 1993, 42 journalists, writers and other media workers have been killed in Afghanistan - 25 of them, including 16 Afghan Journalists in targeted attacks - and 17 others in conflict situations and as a result of explosions. Meanwhile, two Afghan journalists have been shot dead in Pakistan.” He said.
He added that five of these journalists have been killed in the 1392 solar year (March 21, 2013 to March 20, 2014) as well as 70 incidents of threats, insults and beatings. The involvement of governmental officials, security forces and the Taliban in many of these cases were reported.
Quraishi voiced concerns about the possible increase in violence against journalists after the withdrawal of international troops as well as presidential elections scheduled for April 5th.
During this event, Afghanistan’s Journalist of the Year award was presented to Mr. Malyar Sadeq Azad, BBC Afghanistan reporter for his investigative report on women learning religious studies in north east Kunduz province. The AFJC board convened a panel of five Afghan prominent journalists to judge this award to ensure it was the highest honor possible – an award bestowed by other working journalists who understand what it means to produce journalism at this level.
Also, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism was presented to Mr. Sediqullah Tuhidi for his 25 year distinguished contributions in journalism and outstanding performance and dedication in his profession. Safi Airways supported the program by providing free tickets to Dubai and New Delhi for the winners.
At the end of the event, participants asked to include 18 March as Journalist’s Day in the national calendar and celebrate it every year which was welcomed. Advisor to the Ministry of Information and Culture supported naming the journalist’s Day.
Marking the national journalist’s day in a war-ravaged country is a significant move to recognize the efforts and dedication of reporters who put their life in risk in reporting.
The calls for entry will be made in February every year at the Afghanistan Journalist Centre website.