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August 2, 2023

First Ever Media Award for In-Depth Child Drowning Reporting in Bangladesh

On 25th June 2023, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator and its partner SoMaSHTe, the Society for Media and Suitable Human-communication Techniques, held the first award ceremony to acknowledge journalists for their contribution to in-depth news reporting on child drowning and prevention efforts. This recognition encourages investigative journalism, which is a challenging and lengthy process in Bangladesh.

Thirteen journalists were chosen from hundreds of applications submitted from all over the country in print newspaper, television and online categories. The awardees include: Zahidur Rahman (Samakal), Partha Shankar Saha (Pratham Alo), Neelima Jahan (Daily Star), Kausar Soheli (Mashranga TV), Jinia Kabir Souchna (Channel 24), Sajib Ahmed (Voice of Kaler), Arefin Tanjeev (Channel Eye Online), Swapna Chakraborty (Janakantha), Jharna Moni (Bhorer Kagaz), Afrin Appi (The Business Post), Masood Rana (Jago News), Sohagi Akhtar (Times Tribune) and Asif Islam Shaon (The Business Post).

The ceremony took place at a convention hall in the capital, Dhaka. Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the Minister for Information & Broadcasting of Bangladesh government was the chief guest and the Chairman of the Bangladesh News Agency and former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor AMMS Arefin Siddique presided over the meeting.

In the speech at the ceremony, Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, '"The government is sincere in working with everyone, including the media, to find a sustainable solution to the terrible problem of child drowning." Giving awards for such public interest issues is a very useful initiative for journalists. In this, journalists will be more motivated to produce in-depth reports and the government will also be able to take effective initiatives.”

Professor AMMS Arefin Siddique, the former Vice-Chancellor said, "Mass media can increase public awareness at various levels through their activities and highlight various initiatives of the government. Print and online media can regularly publish in-depth news on child drowning prevention. Again, the electronic media can broadcast documentaries and TVCs related to this. This will increase awareness at the individual level, as well as get the attention of various policy makers and influencers at different tiers of the government."