The Unicef on Tuesday honored 36 journalists and writers for their outstanding contribution in championing child rights through the 10th Meena Media Award 2014.
The award is named after Meena, a popular animation character held dear by children and adults alike in Bangladesh. Meena is a change agent in her community and her stories champion the rights of children across South Asia.
The 10th award ceremony brought children’s voices to the forefront through a colourful cultural event.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, UNICEF Representative Pascal Villeneuve and UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador and Film Actress Arifa Zaman Moushumi presented the awards to the winners at a ceremony held in the city in presence of media representatives, children and other guests.
Congratulating participants and award winners, Pascal Villeneuve said, “I congratulate the nominees and winners of the Meena Media Award 2014 for their excellent work. We are proud to honor you for your outstanding achievement.”
By recognizing the role of the media in mobilizing mass opinion, he emphasized the crucial role played by the media professionals in raising public awareness about negative social norms and urged journalists to wage a campaign against child marriage, an unlawful practice that still affects too many adolescent girls in Bangladesh.
The 10th Meena Media Award has generated an overwhelming response from participants. Award nominees were selected by a panel of judges through a competitive process from both print and broadcast media.
Broadly divided into ‘creative’ and ‘journalistic’ categories, entries have been sought from print, television and radio under specific age groups.
The first, second, and third award recipients of each category and age-groups received Tk 50,000, Tk 25,000 and Tk 15,000 in cash prizes respectively in addition to a crest.
An eight member expert panel of judges comprising of creative writers, veteran media professionals and academics assessed each entry through a strict marking process where the names of the participants were replaced by a specific code number.
The judges included, Selina Hossain, Farid Hossain, Robaet Ferdous, Fahmidul Haque, Zakir Hossain Razu, Samia Zaman, Ratan Paul and Qadir Kollol.
To add a festive feel to the occasion, children who live in a local drop-in centre and come from disadvantaged families performed in the cultural program.
The Meena Media Award was introduced by UNICEF in 2005 to celebrate excellence in creative journalism in both print and broadcast outlets.
Unicef honors 36 with Meena Award