NDTV’s Ravish Kumar has been awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the institution announced on Friday.
Kumar, Senior Executive Editor at NDTV India, has been awarded the honour “for harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”, it said in a tweet.
The award’s citation called Kumar one of India’s most influential TV journalists and said that his ‘Prime Time’ programme “deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people”.
“If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” the citation added.
Other recipients of the award this year include Myanmar’s Ko Swe Win, Thailand’s Angkhana Neelapaijit, Philippines’s Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab and South Korea’s Kim Jong-Ki.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.
It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, 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.
The award citation
The Magsaysay award citation called Kumar a sober, incisive, and well-informed news anchor.
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 on insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice,” it said.
His 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 a 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, in speaking truth bravely yet soberly to power, that journalism fulfills its noblest aims to advance democracy, 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 on 31 August 2019.
(With PTI inputs)