Journalist Ravish Kumar wins 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award

Kumar's "Prime Time" programme "deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people", it added.

Senior Indian journalist Ravish Kumar on Friday was awarded this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize, for harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless.

Kumar, 44, who is NDTV India's senior executive editor is one of India's most influential TV journalists, the award citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said.

He is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which is Asia's premier prize and highest honour and celebrates the greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.

The four other winners of the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award are Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from the Philippines and Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea.

The award was instituted in 1957 to celebrate the life of Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay, the much-esteemed Philippine President. He was the third president of the country after World War II.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's highest honour and is given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.

 

 

Kumar, born in Jitwarpur village in Bihar, joined New Delhi Television Network (NDTV) in 1996 and worked his way up from being a field reporter.

After NDTV launched its 24-hour Hindi-language news channel - NDTV India - targeting the country's 422 million native speakers of Hindi, he was given his own daily show, "Prime Time."

Kumar's "Prime Time" programme "deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people", it added.

"If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist," the citation added.

As an anchor, Kumar is sober, incisive, and well-informed, it said.

His more important distinction, however, comes from the kind of journalism he represents, the citation added.

"In a media environment threatened by an interventionist state, toxic with jingoist partisans, trolls and purveyors of 'fake news,' and where the competition for market ratings has put the premium on 'media personalities,' 'tabloidisation,' and audience-pandering sensationalism, Ravish has been most vocal in insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice," it said.

"The world's largest democracy, India has seen the space for an independent and responsible Indian press shrink over the past years," the citation noted.

Kumar's programme takes up current social issues; does serious background research, and presents issues in well-rounded discussions.

Kumar interacts easily with the poor, travels extensively, and uses social media to stay in touch with the audience, generating from them the stories for the programme.

Striving for people-based journalism, he calls his newsroom "the people's newsroom," it said.

In electing Kumar to receive the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognises his unfaltering commitment to a professional, ethical journalism of the highest standards; his moral courage in standing up for truth, integrity, and independence; and his principled belief that it is in giving full and respectful voice to the voiceless...., the award citation said.

This year's Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile.

They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal presentation ceremonies to be held in Manila on August 31.

Other prominent winners of the Magsaysay award in the past from India are RK Laxman, P Sainath, Arun Shourie, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal.

 

 

 

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