May 5, 2020
Congratulating the three Indian photojournalists for winning the 2020 Pulitzer prize in the feature photography category for their images of Jammu and Kashmir, the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) described it as a recognition for fearless work under difficult conditions.
"Apart from reflecting the challenges and tensions faced by ordinary people as well as by government personnel, their work was truly fearless as they surmounted daily difficulties, in a situation fraught with danger, obstacles and tension," said SAMDEN, a network of editors, broadcasters, bloggers, media professionals and writers largely from South Asia, anchored in the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). The Pulitzer Prize awards outstanding journalism by US media.
The award to the photojournalists, Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand of the Associated Press (AP), also comes at a time when media worldwide has expressed solidarity for journalists in Jammu and Kashmir who are facing serious criminal charges and pressure for performing their duties to reflect the realities in the Union Territory.
SAMDEN underlined the words of the Norwegian Prime Minister who declared yesterday that in the current COVID-19 crisis worldwide, "Disinformation can kill but correct information, based on facts, can save lives."
“The role of the media remains at all times, especially in crisis such as the ongoing pandemic, to report the facts, without fear or favour, bias and despite pressure, to maintain balance and professionalism," said the network. It added that governments and duty holders should welcome such reporting for it can bring facts and situations to their notice of which, because of the lockdowns, they may be unaware.
1. Mahfuz Anam. Editor, The Daily Star, Co-Convenor, SAMDEN
2. Kanak Mani Dixit, Founder editor, Himal South Asian and Co- Convenor, SAMDEN
3. Kumar Lopez, Executive Director, Sri Lanka Press Institute, Co-Convenor, SAMDEN
4. Beena Sarwar, Journalist, editor and journalism professor, Co-Convenor, SAMDEN
5. Sanjoy Hazarika, Columnist and Co-Convenor, SAMDEN
6. Kalpana Sharma, Independent journalist and author
7. Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times
8. Mahendra Ved, Senior Journalist
9. Rita Payne, President Emeritus, Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA)
10. R. Rajagopal, Editor, The Telegraph
11. Salil Tripathi, Writer and Journalist, Chair, Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International
12. Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor, The Wire
13. Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, Deputy editor, The Wire
14. Suhasini Haidar, Foreign Editor, The Hindu
15. Eshan Ahmed Sehar, Rural Reporters Network, Pakistan
16. Sandeep Dikshit, Print Journalist, India
17. Amandeep Sandhu, Writer and journalist
18. Dileep Chandan, Editor, Asam Bani, The Assam Tribune Group
19. Zafar Sobhan, Editor, The Dhaka Tribune
20. Aroonim Bhuyan, Editor, India Post
21. David Page, Commonwealth Journalists Association
22. Aditya Sharma, Media and Advocacy Officer, CHRI