New Delhi: Senior Journalist Ravish Kumar was awarded with Ramon Magsaysay 2019 — considered as the Asian version of Nobel Prize — for “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”.
Kumar, 44, is currently working as NDTV India’s senior executive editor. He is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which honours and celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.
Born in Jitwarpur village in Bihar, Kumar joined NDTV a field reporter in 1996 and worked his way up to his current post. After NDTV launched its 24-hour Hindi-language news channel — NDTV India — he was given his own daily show, Prime Time. The programme “deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people”, the award citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said.
“If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” 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,” the citation further 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.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.