Thirteen journalists were celebrated today for their exceptional reporting on child drowning prevention during an award ceremony held at Dhaka Reporters Unity’s Nasrul Hamid Auditorium in Dhaka.
The event, graced by Dr. Hasan Mahmud MP, the minister for Information and Broadcasting as chief guest, aimed to recognize the vital role journalists play in addressing the serious issue of child drowning. Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University and Chairman of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), chaired the occasion. Representatives from various public and private organizations, as well as national and local media, were present.
The awards, organized by SoMaSHTe with support from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), were presented in three categories: print newspaper, television, and online. In addition, a journalist from the district level was acknowledged. Esteemed guests handed out trophies and certificates to the winners.
Dr. Hasan Mahmud expressed the government’s commitment to working closely with the media and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the grave issue of child drowning. He highlighted the importance of recognizing journalists for their contributions to topics of public interest, believing that it would inspire them to dig deeper into their reporting and enable the government to take effective actions.
The awardees included Afrin Appy (The Business Post), Jenia Kabir Shuchona (Channel 24), Partha Shankar Saha (Prothom Alo), Masud Rana (Jagonews24), Sohagi Akhtar (Somoy Tribune), Jharna Moni (Bhorer Kagoj), Kawser Soheli (Maasranga TV), Nilima Jahan (Daily Star), Swapna Chakraborty (Janakantha), Zahidur Rahman (Samakal), Sajib Ahmed (Kaler Kantha), Ashif Islam Shaon (The Business Post), and Arefin Tanjib (Channel i Online).
Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique acknowledged the influential role of mass media in raising public awareness and showcasing government initiatives. He encouraged print and online media outlets to regularly publish in-depth news on child drowning prevention while broadcasting media could contribute by airing documentaries and TV announcements on the subject. Such efforts, he believed, would enhance awareness at the individual level and capture the attention of policymakers within the government.