March 15, 2023
KABUL: The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) held a ceremony to honor three exceptional journalists with the Afghanistan 2023 Journalist of the Year award, coinciding with national journalist day.
After careful consideration by the jury panel during the 10th round of the annual competition, the winners were announced today. The esteemed journalists recognized with this prestigious accolade are ToloNews reporter Mohammad Yousuf Hanif, Afghanistan International TV reporter Mohammad Arif Yaqoubi, and Killid Radio reporter Marjan Wafa.
The awards were presented on March 15 in Brussels, Belgium, at a conference attended by Afghan journalists and representatives from international media support organizations. The Conference of Afghan Journalists aimed to evaluate the state of media and journalists in Afghanistan, opening up discussions on potential improvements within the current media landscape.
Somaia Valizada, speaking on behalf of the jury panel, acknowledged the challenges faced by journalists amidst a reduction in media outlets and increased restrictions. Nonetheless, more than 40 reporters, representing local, national, and international media across TV, radio, print, and online platforms, submitted their reports and media productions for this year's competition.
Valizada emphasized the thorough review process undertaken by the jury panel. Notably, ToloNews reporter Mohammad Yousuf Hanif's report on the dire situation faced by earthquake-affected individuals in Paktika province, as well as Afghanistan International TV reporter Mohammad Arif Yahqoubi's documentary shedding light on the illegal migration of an Afghan photographer and filmmaker to Australia, received exceptional recognition during the final assessment.
Furthermore, considering the hardships endured by the Afghan women journalists and the increased limitations they encounter, the jury panel conducted a special assessment of their submitted works. Ultimately, Killid Radio reporter Marjan Wafa stood out as the highest-scoring candidate in this category.
As a result of the jury's decision, the three journalists were collectively commended as the winners of the 2023 Afghanistan Journalist of the Year Award, praising their outstanding contributions.
The Afghanistan Journalist of the Year Award has been held annually since 2014, showcasing and applauding the professionalism of Afghan journalists. Its purpose is to inspire adherence to internationally recognized journalism standards during coverage of events within Afghanistan.
Since the inaugural award in 2014, a total of 17 Afghan journalists, including five women, from prestigious media outlets such as BBC Afghanistan, Ariana News, Hasht e Subh Daily, Etilaatroz Daily, ToloNews, AFP, Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghanistan International TV, and Killid Radio, have been honored with this esteemed recognition.