8 journalists from Tajikistan were awarded prizes for winning in the nominations of the contest “The Best Coverage of the Issues of Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Countering Radicalization” by IWPR Tajikistan.
The ceremony of awarding the winners of the National Contest announced this summer took place on November 5 in Dushanbe. Beside the contest participants and media representatives, the representatives of international and local partner organization attended the ceremony.
This contest was organized within the framework of IWPR Project “Countering Radicalization in Tajikistan” for the second time.
Abakhon Sultonnazarov, IWPR Central Asia Programme Director, noted that despite its complexity and sensitivity, the theme of countering radicalism is now broadly covered in national media due to the journalists’ efforts; this ultimately leads to radicalization reduction in Tajikistan.
“We are sure that even if one young man reads an article or listens to the interview with returnees from Syria or Iraq, thinks it over and makes correct conclusion, our common work is successful”, he said.
The representative of the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan Erik Pugner highlighted the importance of journalists’ work in promotion of democracy and rule of law and wished Tajik journalists success in their challenging work.
All of the submitted contest articles were given scores with accordance to the following criteria: journalistic courage, importance and timely character, adherence to the international journalism standards, cooperation with human rights defenders, multimedia tools application (photo and video, infographics and other graphic representation of the information).
In total, 76 articles from more than 20 journalists from all regions of Tajikistan were submitted for contest evaluation. All of them were focused on the sensitive topic of countering radicalization. The articles were examined by the competent panel of jury, which included following experts: religious scholar Saidahmad Kalandarov, academic secretary of the Centre for Islamic Studies under the President of Tajikistan Mahrambek Anvarzod, NGO “Independent Human Rights Centre” head Shoira Davlatova, “Ozodagon” Information Agency editor Abdulaziz Voseev, and IWPR Tajikistan editors.
According to the evaluation by the panel of jury, eight journalists won the nominations of the National Contest and received awards and prizes from IWPR.
Just as in the previous contest, beside three medal places, the journalists were awarded for being the best in the following nominations:
The prize for “The Best Multimedia Article” was given to Zulfiya Golubeva, “Vechyorka” newspaper correspondent for her article “Radicalism in Opinions: Reasons and Consequences”.
Sarvinoz Ruhulloh was awarded the prize in “The Best Coverage of the Women and Children Rights” nomination for publishing a series of the articles about the fate of women and children from Tajikistan recruited by the IS.
Farzonai Umarali was awarded the prize for “The Best Professional Growth”.
According to the jury decision, Bahmanyor Nodirov, “Asia Plus” Information Agency correspondent, was awarded the prize for “The Professional Excellence”,
Afzal Bosoliev, Khujand TV company “Asia” correspondent, won in “The Journalistic Courage” nomination.
Three medal places were given to the following journalists:
The third place – Mashhur Imomnazarov for his series of articles about countering radicalization in a number of districts of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.
The second place – Orzu Bedimogov for his series of reports on the problems of countering extremism and terrorism in Khatlon Region.
The winner of the contest – Jamshedi Maruf, journalist from Sughd region, for his articles and interviews on the causes of radicalization and problems of countering radicalization in Sughd.
Receiving his award, Jamshedi Maruf said his success became possible only due to his participation in IWPR trainings and good mentorship provided by IWPR Tajikistan staff.
Before the award ceremony, IWPR held a presentation of two studies on media and civil society issues in four Central Asian countries.