Senior Indian television journalist Ravish Kumar who has been working with NDTV has been awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Kumar is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which is Asia’s premier prize and often referred to as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.
Besides Ravish Kumar, Myanmar-based journalist Ko Swe Win, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines and Kim Jong Ki from South Korea were also honoured with the prestigious prize. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Manila on September 9, 2019.
The citation describes Ravish Kumar as a sober, incisive and well-informed anchor who has been most vocal on insisting that the professional values of balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice. “If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” it says.
The four other winners are Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines and Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea.
“In electing Ravish Kumar to receive the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes 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,” says the citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation.
“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’, ‘tabloidization’ 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.”
Referring to Ravish Kumar’s news programme “Prime Time”, the foundation says it deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people.
“Striving for a people-based journalism, he calls his newsroom ‘the people’s newsroom’. He is most vocal on insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice,” it says.
Many congratulations Ravish. Radhika and I believe that what you have done is a huge victory for journalism in India. May others have the courage to learn from your brilliance and humility – unchanged in the 23 years you have been with NDTV. #RavishKumar pic.twitter.com/zYWCR8UPoY— Prannoy Roy (@PrannoyRoyNDTV) August 2, 2019
Congratulations to #RavishKumar for being a brave exception in Indian journalism. I know many more like him are waiting to stand up and fight this onslaught on India 🇮🇳 and its institutions. https://t.co/bBcTIN9ghE— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 2, 2019
Breaking news this morning: NDTV’s @ravishndtv to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award for journalism.. a tribute to his courageous spirit and unique story telling.. many many congrats to a friend and former colleague..— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 2, 2019