Thirteen journalists and one organisation were awarded the Brac Migration Media Award 2019 in six categories on Thursday at Brac Centre in the capital.
Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed, as chief guest, distributed the prizes to the winners.
This year, Wasim Uddin Bhuiyan of the English daily New Age secured first place in the national section of the newspaper. Md Mohiuddin of the Daily Prothom Alo came second, and Arafat Ara of the Financial Express came third.
The winners in the newspaper (regional) category are as follows: Abu Taher Md Turab of the Daily Jalalabad of Sylhet (first); Farooq Munir of the Daily Chattogram Pratidin (second); and Md Emdad Ullah of the Daily Feni (third).
Sabina Yasmin (Sabina Punthi) of DBC Television bagged the first prize in the television category. Salauddin Ahmed (Ahmed Reza) of Jamuna TV came second, and Ashikur Rahman (Shravan) of News24 TV came third.
The sole winner in the radio category was Md Mostafizur Rahman of Bangladesh Betar.
Mansura Hossain of Prothom Alo Online won first prize in the online newspaper category. The second winner was Kamruzzaman, a freelance reporter for the Turkish-based Anadolu Agency, and the third was Saddif Sohrab of the Bangla Tribune.
Aside from journalists, the award was launched this year in the media category to provide institutional recognition for their contribution to the migration sector. The sole award in the category was received by the online media outlet Probas Kotha.
Each winner received a crest, a certificate of recognition and a check for the prize money.
Brac introduced the award in 2015 to recognise journalism in the migration sector, and this is the award's fifth iteration. This time, the award was given from the Protyasha project, which was implemented as a partnership between IOM Bangladesh and Brac, funded by the European Union.
The announcement of the award was published on 10 January this year across media outlets and on the Brac website.
The reports were evaluated by a jury comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment, civil society representatives and teachers of journalism.
Professor Robaet Ferdous, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University; Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Expatriate Welfare, Sheikh Mohammad Refat Ali; National Programme Officer, ILO Bangladesh, Rahnuma Salam Khan; and Chief News Editor at News24, Shahnaz Munni, were members of the jury board this year.
The Expatriate Welfare Minister said, "The media plays the most important role in people's awareness. Responsible journalism is crucial. This task of creating awareness is by no means possible without the media. We have held meetings from the ministry to the upazila, we will do so again if necessary. But NGOs, civil society organisations and the media are the main driving forces through which we can create awareness on migration."
Speaking about the dire consequences of spreading misinformation through the news, the minister requested journalists to be more responsible in publishing news.
Head of Cooperation of the European Union Bangladesh, Maurizio Qian; Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh, George Gigauri; Executive Director of Brac, Asif Saleh; Senior Director, Brac, KAM Morshed, and Head of Migration Programme, Brac, Shariful Islam Hasan, were present on the occasion.
KAM Morshed delivered the welcome address, while Shariful Islam Hasan, highlighted the role of the media in protecting the rights of migrants in his keynote address.