This year’s winners of the Oltin Qalam (Golden Pen), an ultimate accolade for excellence in journalism in Uzbekistan, were unveiled at an awards ceremony at Tashkent’s Turkiston Palace on May 1 ahead of World Press Freedom Day. In what has become a tradition, special prizes were presented by representatives of UNESCO, the World Bank and the UN Information Office in Uzbekistan.
Now in its tenth year, the project highlights achievements in online journalism, television, radio and the press. This year, the competition drew as many as 15,000 entries from 676 journalists. The main award of the competition went to UzReport television channel for remarkable coverage of the development of science, equipment and economic ties with developed countries as well as shows dedicated to the legacy passed down by outstanding Uzbek historical figures and creative endeavors of the talented youth. Also, twelve main awards for best journalistic materials in all categories and special prizes from international and nongovernmental organizations were presented.
The UNESCO prize for “Best Environmental Story Highlighting the Aral Sea Region” went to the deputy editor of the newspaper ‘Ulug Yol’ (the Great Path), Ms. Nigora Shofayziyeva. Ms. Maryam Akhmedova, a correspondent with Qadriyat (Value) newspaper, landed a World Bank prize for the “Best Story on the Organization and Use of Alternative Energy Sources”. The UN Information Office’s prize for “Best Online Coverage of Development Issues” was presented to head of the Audiovisual Journalism Department of UzSWLU’s international journalism school, Ms. Nargis Qosimova.