Announcement of Winners for South Asia IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today announced the winners of this year’s Journalism for Tolerance Prize, South Asia. The IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize is about promoting tolerance, combating racism and discrimination and contributing to an understanding of cultural, religious and ethnic differences.

The winners in the three categories: Print/Online (English), Print/Online (Language) and Broadcast were selected from print, online, broadcast and radio entries in English, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Dari, Pashto, Sinhala and Nepali from all over South Asia.

The Winners:

Print – English

Dionne Bunsha (India), “Chains of Pirana”, Frontline, September 10, 2004, as well as other stories.

The jury recognised Ms Bunsha for her outstanding coverage of the Gujarat carnage. Her moving and humane reporting carries a definite message and Bunsha’s courage in exposing how the Gujarati media betrayed itself must be commended, said the jury. The piece “Peddling Hate” clearly shows how the media even in a democratic set-up can be misused. Ms Bunsha’s excellent and hard-hitting series are also exemplary in promoting tolerance, and combating discrimination.

Print - Language

Sharifuzzaman Pintu (Bangladesh, Bengali), "Shankhari Bazarer Mrityu Kupe Antanker Modhe Bashobash, (Living in Fear in the Hell Hole of Shankhari Bazar) Daily Janakantha, June 16, 2004

Mr Pintu highlights the decades-old plight of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh whose property was taken away by the state. Mr Pintu’s well-written investigative report explains how ‘The Enemy Property Act’, is still causing a massive social and human problem. Widely misused, this law has forced thousands to flee their homeland in utter frustration.


Jagat Nepal, (Nepal), Three News Stories for Kantipur Television, October-December 2004

Jagat Nepal’s reports for Kantipur TV are newsworthy eye-openers raising serious questions on social discrimination, and also depict the present social situation of Nepal. The story on unsafe abortion is worthy of mention, because it reveals human rights violations by the army, and also the pathetic condition and helplessness of Nepali women. Nepal's incisive news stories provoke thought and have a deep social impact.


The jury also commended the finalists in all categories: Massoud Ansari (Pakistan), Luv Puri (India), Anindita Ramaswamy (India), Paromita Pain (India), Guna Raj Luitel (Nepal), Ranga Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Lalitha Sridhar (India), Nurul Kabir (Bangladesh), Sanath Balasuriya (Sri Lanka), Uvindu Kurukulsuriya (Sri Lanka) Bhupendra Basnet (Nepal), Rajiv Mehrotra (India), Shree Lal Sah (Nepal) and Aarti Chataut (Nepal).

The members of the jury are eminent senior journalists from South Asia: Mr Narayan Wagle, Editor, Kantipur, Kathmandu, Nepal; Mr Haroon Habib, senior journalist, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Mr Pankaj Singh, senior journalist, New Delhi, India; Ms CS Lakshmi, writer and director, Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women, Mumbai, India; and Mr SG Punchihewa, senior journalist and lawyer, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize promotes editorial independence, high standards of professionalism and journalists' ethics, and diversity in media. This year’s winners fulfill the objective of promoting among journalists the importance of tolerance and defence of human rights, particularly when it comes to reporting on minorities.

For more information visit or contact Laxmi Murthy, Program Manager, IFJ Asia Pacific. Cell: +91-9818383669 or Email: [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries