Ravish Kumar Wins 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award
Senior Indian journalist Ravish Kumar on Friday was awarded this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.
Kumar, 44, who is NDTV India’s senior executive editor is one of India’s most influential TV journalists, the award citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said.
After NDTV launched its 24-hour Hindi-language news channel – NDTV India – targeting the country’s 422 million native speakers of Hindi, he was given his own daily show, “Prime Time.”
Kumar’s “Prime Time” programme “deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people”, it added.
If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” the citation added.
As an anchor, Kumar is sober, incisive, and well-informed, it said.
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.
The four other winners of the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award are Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines and Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea.