Journalists, writers and broadcasters were honoured at the eighth annual Asian Media Awards.
The winners were revealed online with judges and previous winners on hand to announce the categories.
The shortlist was heavily focussed on stories detailing the ongoing pandemic as well as issues raised by Black Lives Matter campaigns.
The Guardian’s Nazia Parveen was named Journalist of the Year whilst the Outstanding Young Journalist honour went to ITV Meridian’s Ravneet Nandra.
BBC Four Storyville documentary, The Accused: Damned or Devoted which explored blasphemy laws in Pakistan picked up the highly sought after Best Investigation honour.
The Regional Journalist of the Year went to ITV London’s Ria Chatterjee whilst the Report of the Year honour was presented to Minreet Kaur and her viral video report of 73 year old Rajinder Singh Harzall also known as the ‘Skipping Sikh’.
Two radio categories were included this year to recognise the work of the range of broadcasters who had kept audiences informed and entertained throughout the pandemic.
Raj Ghai’s Breakfast Show on Sunrise Radio was named Best Radio Show and Qasa Alom was picked up his very first AMA with the Radio Presenter of the Year award.
The Best Stage Production category showcased the work of creative teams ahead of the lockdown. The winner was ‘Mushy: Lyrically Speaking’ which follows the real-life story of a young student and how he overcomes his stammer through music with the help of teacher Mr Burton.
The Best Blog honour was awarded to Amit Sodha’s Unlimited Choice. Amit Sodha is a Transformation Coach and has also held roles as a podcaster, blogger, dating coach, radio presenter and a stand-up comedian.
In a year when we have seen heartache, pain and hope the Asian Media Awards honoured the contribution of the ‘Unnamed Key Workers’ with the Media Personality of the Year award.
In previous years this has been presented to some of the foremost commentators, broadcasters and journalists from across the country. The announcement was made via a specially written poem read by members from two youth groups.
A statement from the Asian Media Awards reads, “In 2020 we thought it only fitting that we recognise the contributions of those people who through their efforts have helped to carry out a range of tasks across the country.
“We felt it wasn’t just enough to recognise the emergency workers and those on the frontline putting their own lives on the line during the ongoing battle against the pandemic. It was also important to feature those, from all backgrounds and cultures who delivered our food, served us at our local shops and drove us home.
“These are the roles our forefathers proudly held and many still hold and we are keen to ensure their efforts are not forgotten as we head into the winter months.
“We would like to thank members of two youth groups who helped us share this message. I am sure you will join us in thanking them for their efforts in relaying the thoughts, ideas and words with such poise and professionalism.”
A reporter’s spontaneous act of kindness and determination to highlight the plight of families affected by the coronavirus lockdown was named the AMA World News Moment 2020. The viral video was viewed tens of millions of times across world.
In May of this year he met families fleeing cities trying to return to their villages following the Coronavirus lockdown. Some had walked over 150 miles in stifling heat and without food. As we hear of their experiences on the side of a road the BBC’s Salman Ravi is taken in by the fact many are walking barefoot. He then decides to hand one man his own shoes.
He said, “I could not have offered them any money on the Live show. The least that I could do was offer my shoes to a bare-footed weeping father who was carrying his baby on his shoulders. He and the family had already walked 200 kilometres in the blazing sun before they could reach Delhi and had several hundred kilometres furthermore to negotiate.
“What I did was spontaneous. That is what that particular moment made me do instantly without another thought.”
This year’s Asian Media Awards ceremony took place digitally on Thursday 19 November.
Previous recipients of an Asian Media Award include Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Waris Hussein, Art Malik, Mehdi Hasan, Nina Wadia, Anita Rani, Shobna Gulati & Faisal Islam.
The University of Salford are premier sponsors and partners to the awards include ITV, MediaCom, Reach PLC, M.E.N, & Press Association Training.
The awards are also supported by Manchester Metropolitan University, Routes Into Languages North West, AMT Lawyers, DKR Accountants, 6G Internet, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Supreme Dream Events, Payal Events & Cleartwo.