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15 journalists receive BRAC Migration Media Award

December 18, 2023, 07:42 AM

15 journalists receive BRAC Migration Media Award

Staff Reporter

Fifteen journalists have been awarded the BRAC Migration Media Award for their noteworthy contributions to journalism in the field of migration.

On Sunday, Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of Bangladesh‍‍`s leading English newspaper, The Daily Star, handed the awards to the winners at a ceremony held at the BRAC Centre.

BRAC Executive Director Asif Saleh, competition judges, and representatives from various national and international organisations attended the event, reports UNB.

The BRAC Migration Media Awards, introduced in 2015, aim to recognise journalistic contributions to the migration sector.

This year marks the eighth time the award has been given for various reporting in the public interest within the migration sector.

Shariful Hasan, Associate Director of BRAC‍‍`s Migration and Youth Initiatives, delivered the keynote speech.

Addressing the audience as the chief guest, Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star, emphasised the pivotal role played by expatriates in Bangladesh‍‍`s economy, contributing approximately 22 billion dollars annually.

He commended their acts of patriotism, evident in their sacrifices such as selling land, investing personal funds, and working diligently abroad to support the country during challenging times of the dollar reserve. However, Mahfuz Anam emphasised that migrants are more than just sources of remittances.

He urged a human-centric perspective and increased media attention to migrant workers‍‍` issues, urging a thorough exploration of challenges such as the disproportionately high cost of leaving Bangladesh compared to Nepal or India, the need for more skilled workers, government investments in the sector, and the allocation of expatriate welfare funds.

He also raised the question, why the government is incapable of breaking the relentless cycle of the syndicate?

He expressed a desire for collaborative journalism to assist the government, particularly in reducing costs, upskilling unskilled workers for overseas opportunities, and utilising the skills of returnees.

Ayesha Haq, Joint Secretary, Research and Policy wing, Ministry of Expatriates‍‍` Welfare and Overseas Employment, emphasised the media‍‍`s vital role in the migration sector.

Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC, drew attention to the prevalent discussions on expatriate income amid reserve crises.

He urged a deeper understanding of migrant workers‍‍` experiences, emphasising the human perspective.

He called for addressing migrant workers‍‍` interests and rights, suggesting that media coverage could more effectively capture diaspora stories.

The winners received prizes at the second part of the programme, at the conclusion of the discussion.

This year, Rajib Ahmed of Daily Samkal secured the first place in the national newspaper category , Md Masum Billah of The Business Standard took the second place, and Jesmin Akter (Jasmin Papri) of Dainik Bangla claimed the third place.

In the regional newspaper category, Shariful Islam of Ekushe Patrika was first, Iftekharul Islam of Daily Chattogram Khobor was second, and Mst. Shakila Akhter of Daily Jainta Barta secured the third place.

Ahmed Reza of Jamuna Television secured the first place in the television news category. Independent Television‍‍`s Talash team and its two investigative journalists Anamul Haque and Md. Nazmul Sayed secured the second place, and News24‍‍`s Md. Khandoker Badrul Alam secured the third.

Bangla TV‍‍`s Md. Badsha Mia won the award in the media organisation category. Niloy Rahman of the National Broadcasting Company of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Radio Iran received the award in the radio category.

The first prize in the online newspaper category was awarded to Md. Jahangir Alam of Jago News. Adnan Rahman of Dhaka Post took the second place, and Md. Imrul Kayes of Dhaka Mail secured the third place.

Winners received a crest, certificate of recognition, and a prize money cheque.

On this occasion, BRAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the English newspaper, The Daily Star, to raise public awareness about migration.

The memorandum was signed by BRAC Executive Director Asif Saleh and The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam. Under this agreement, The Daily Star will publish more public interest news related to ensuring safe migration, preventing human trafficking, and reintegrating returnees.