The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has encouraged media practitioners to increase their coverage of humanitarian issues across the globe in a bid to portray the face of communities facing conflict.
The call was made by François Stamm, the Head of Regional Delegation, during the third award ceremony of the best article on humanitarian issues in New Delhi, India.
The event was held Wednesday at the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
Four Indian journalists received medals and cash prizes courtesy of the ICRC and the Press Institute of India (PII). The ceremony was also blessed by famous Indian and foreign media personalities and experts on conflict.
“The role of the media is highly recognised in playing a major role of informing the world of what the communities actually face, so that appropriate action is taken by everyone. The media should be at the frontier of raising this awareness,” Stamm said.
Nearly 100 journalists were involved in the stiff competition under the theme: “Reporting on fate of victims of armed violence”.
Tusha Mittal (Tehelka) and Rahul Pandita (Open Media Network) took the first and second place respectively, while Chitrangada Choudhary and Smita Gupta jointly took third spot.
Renowned Indian media experts noted that both local and international media have not accorded much coverage on the subject and there is need to invest more efforts so as to portray the facts at hand.
Paranjoy G. Thakurta, a professional journalist and film producer, said that “the media should work hard and avoid the tendency of publishing tailor-made stories and stick to the principles and ethics of journalism which have already taken root in India”.
The awardees revealed that the stories were covered under very poor socio-political conditions despite the fact they managed to tell the actual stories of communities facing conflict, which eventually impacted on the decisions of leaders.
One Tusha Mittal, argues that in such cases; “professional and upcoming journalists should use their instincts, courage and be courageous in covering such noble issues which in most cases are untold officially.’
Currently, a group of Rwandan journalists, including two from The New Times, are in the Indian capital New Delhi, where they are attending a media training under the auspices of the Commonwealth.