Dubai-Renowned Indian media personality Sashi Kumar and six print, TV and radio journalists in the UAE were honoured in Dubai on Wednesday night.
The journalists hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala were conferred the UAE Exchange-Chiranthana Media Awards.
The award ceremony was held in memory of veteran Indian editor late P. V. Vivekanand, who passed away in December 2013.
The founder of India’s first regional satellite TV channel, Asianet, Kumar was honoured for his overall contribution to the Indian media.
He was conferred the second UAE Exchange-Chiranthana Media Award named after Vivekanand, the former editor of Sharjah-based newspaper The Gulf Today.
The annual award, inclusive of a trophy, citation and a cheque for Rs100,000 was presented to Kumar on the occasion of the fourth death anniversary of Vivekanand.
Kumar started his career in government-run Doordarshan as a newsreader and producer. Later he worked in PTI-TV as chief producer and general manager of news agency PTI. He was the first West Asia correspondent of The Hindu newspaper in the mid-eighties.
He directed the award winning Hindi film Kaya Taran and has acted in five movies. He is currently the chairman of Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.
Socially responsible journalism
The other winners were honoured for socially responsible journalism through reports that changed the lives of the disadvantaged members of the society and ensured the welfare of the Indian community.
Gulf News Senior Reporter Sajila Saseendran won the award in the print media category.
Other winners are Jaimon George, bureau chief, Malayala Manorama, Iype Vallikkadan, bureau chief, Mathrubhumi News, K. R. Arun Kumar, bureau chief, Asianet, Thansi Hashir, news presenter, Gold FM, Mineesh Kumar, chief of news, Pravasi Bharati.
They received a trophy, a citation and a gold medal.
Prasanth Manghat, CEO and executive director of NMC Healthcare, Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty , vice-president of UAE Exchange, Mohammad Hussain Murad of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and E.K. Rajendran, director, Eram Group, gave away the awards.
Punnakkan Mohammad Ali, president of Chiranthana, a cultural forum that publishes books and promotes literary events, Moideen Koya, media director, UAE Exchange and Vivekanand’s son Anoop also spoke on the occasion.
A seminar discussing the role of media in the current era was also held as part of the event.