UNICEF announces 18th Meena Media Awards celebrating the work of 15 journalists focused on children

UNICEF received almost 1,000 submissions from print, photo, and video journalists, showcasing the need for more reporting on child rights.

22 April 2024
Winners of the UNICEF Meena Media Awards 2023
UNICEF Bangladesh/2024/Mukut

Dhaka, 22 April 2024 – UNICEF honoured 15 Bangladeshi journalists, including three child journalists, for their outstanding reporting on children’s issues during the 18th edition of Meena Media Awards in Bangladesh.  

Since its launch in 2005, the Meena Media Awards have promoted child rights through recognizing excellence in journalistic reporting in print, broadcast, and online media, including reports of child journalists. 

For the most recent round of awards, UNICEF received more than 1,000 submissions from print, photo, and video journalists, working in both national and local media outlets, more than three times last year’s total of 300 entries. 

Congratulating the award winners, Chief guest, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, the Honourable Speaker of the National Parliament said, “Media has an important role in voicing the needs of children. Their insightful analysis of children’s issues provides crucial guidance for both society and policymakers, urging them to take meaningful action in ensuring children’s rights.” 

The stories shared by winners and nominees center around critical issues such as children impacted by climate shocks, girls facing challenges in managing menstrual hygiene, children living in street situations, and children hailing from the marginalized communities. 

“The news reports, photographs, and videos showcased at the Meena Media Award today not only highlight the needs of children but also what can be done to make their lives better. As we gather here to honour the journalists, let us reaffirm our commitments to ensure that the children’s voices are heard, their dreams nurtured, and their rights protected,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh. 

A nine-member expert panel of judges comprising of leading creative writers, media professionals both from print and broadcast media, photographers and academics selected the awardees among 65 nominees in 12 categories. The judges assessed each entry through a strict marking process where the names of the participants were replaced by a specific code number to ensure non-biased judgement. 

“The Meena Media Awards annually remind us of our utmost responsibility to safeguard the rights of children. I am confident that our journalist community, including the aspiring child journalists, will continue to write about the pressing issues that impact the lives of children in Bangladesh,” said Dr. Gitiara Nasreen, Professor in the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism in University of Dhaka, and one of the 2023 awards judges.

The UNICEF Meena Media Awards are named after Meena, the popular cartoon character held dear by children and adults in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world. Meena, created by UNICEF, has been speaking up for the rights of children, and reminding adults of their responsibilities, in Bangladesh and beyond since 1993.  

The Ceremony was held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel Grand Ballroom on 22 April 2024, Monday. In addition to the Speaker of the Parliament, Special guests included Mahfuz Anam, Editor, of The Daily Star, Dr. Md. Jahangir Alam, Director General, Bangladesh Television, Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Educationist, Novelist and Story Writer specially for children, Reaz Ahmed, Executive Editor, Dhaka Tribune and Shameem Akhtar, Filmmaker and Lecturer at the Pathshala Institute, UNICEF National Ambassador, Bidya Sinha Saha Mim, UNICEF Child’s advocates, representatives from Media, and Donor agencies.  

UNICEF Meena Media Awards 2023 judges

  • Nasir Ali Mamun, Portrait Photographer
  • Abir Abdullah, Photographer, and Instructor at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka
  • Jannatul Mawa, Photographer and Activist
  • Ruma Paul, Bureau Chief, Thomson Reuters Bangladesh
  • Serajul Islam Quadir, Former Bureau Chief, Reuters in Bangladesh
  • Dr. Gitiara Nasreen, Professor, Department of Mass Communication & Journalism, University of Dhaka
  • Shafiqul Alam, Bureau Chief, AFP
  • Rafiqur Rahman, Senior multimedia journalist, Thomson Reuters
  • Dr. Kajalie Shehreen Islam, Associate Professor, University of Dhaka 

 Winners of the UNICEF Meena Media Awards 2023 (18 or Above)

 Winners of the UNICEF Children’s Meena Media Awards 2023 (Below 18)

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 Notes for editors: 

 Full list of nominees of the UNICEF Meena Media Awards 2023 

18 and above

Photojournalism:

Video Journalism: 

Print Journalism: 

Education and Children

Child Rights

Climate Change and Children

Children as Agents of Change

Rohingya Refugee Children

Gender equality

Children at Risk

Full list of nominees of the UNICEF Meena Media Awards 2023 (Below 18)

Photojournalism:

Video Journalism:

Print Journalism:

Media contacts

Miguel Mateos Muñoz
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: +88801713043478
Faria Selim
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: +8801817586096

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/bangladesh/   

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