An indigenous group in Malaysia, nomadic children in China and an HIV-positive couple in India are the focus of stories that have won United Nations prizes for media that depicts the quest to meet UN-backed development goals in the Asia-Pacific region.
The announcement of the first Asia-Pacific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Media Awards – for stories on the individual dimension of the international goals to cut extreme deprivation and boost basic services by 2015 – was made today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, during the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
At a ceremony attended by representatives of the 62 member governments of UNESCAP, three top winners received the awards, each with a cash prize of $7,000, from Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of UNESCAP.
“Through the powerful media of TV, radio, print and the internet, journalists can focus attention on the human face behind the MDGs,” said Mr. Kim.
“They also have an important role in holding governments accountable to the pledges they made in the Millennium Declaration – the pledge to free the world from dehumanizing condition of poverty, hunger and illiteracy,” he added.
Receiving the awards from Mr. Kim were top winners in the three media categories:
- Print: Chin Mui Yoon of Star Magazine of Malaysia, for an article examining the challenges in providing basic health services to an indigenous group in Malaysia.
- Radio: He Fei, Wu Jia, Guan Juanjuan and Jin Zhao of China Radio International, for a report on a girl who dropped out of school in rural China before finally managing to return to the classroom.
- Television: Li Jiejun of China Central TV (CCTV) International for a feature exploring innovative solutions for delivering education facilities to nomadic children in remote western China.
Three runner-up awards were handed out to journalists based in Bangladesh, India and the Philippines. The awards are jointly sponsored by UNESCAP, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank, and the competition was organized by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD). More than 100 entries from 23 countries were judged by an international panel of media professionals.