Dainik Bhaskar wins gold at Wan-Ifra Asian Media Awards

DB Corp won the gold at Wan-Ifra Asian Media Awards 2022 for its hard-hitting journalism in the Bhopal edition — Burning pyres are not lying — in the category best Covid-19 related photography.

08 Jun 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

The photograph was published on 16 April 2021

Dainik Bhaskar reported that government data cited only 21 Covid deaths in the five days leading up its publication in Bhopal, while 356 last rites of those infected with the virus took place in the same period at three locations. The article was accompanied with an aerial view photograph of burning funeral pyres at Bhopal’s Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat. 

The journalistic courage and integrity displayed in the edition, which called out the Madhya Pradesh government for its inappropriate data on Covid deaths in the state, was applauded by an international panel of experts. 

Wan-Ifra Asian Media Awards (AMA) aims to promote the highest publishing standards in the fields of newspaper and magazine design, infographics, editorial content, marketing, community service, revenue diversification, and photojournalism. 

Avnish Jain, state editor, Madhya Pradesh, said, “At Dainik Bhaskar, our editorial philosophy is Kendra Mein Pathak, and we believe the very reason for our existence is our reader’s trust in us. During the second wave of Covid, it was our duty to investigate and report an apparent disconnect in the government’s data and the reality on the ground. Given the extant circumstances, this was undoubtedly fraught with risk – especially to the health of our staff. Our reporters visited and gathered data from local crematoriums and burial grounds, and in one such incident in Madhya Pradesh, the government had reported only 4 deaths, but 112 funerals were done as per Covid protocol and our photographer captured this heart-wrenching picture at one of the crematoriums.”

Sanjeev Gupta, the photographer who clicked the picture, said, “It was a truly gut-wrenching sight when I visited the Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat crematorium ground at Bhopal on 15 April 2021. I still get goosebumps remembering the day. It was a surreal feeling to see more than 40 pyres burning on the cremation ground. But perhaps the most distressing feeling was looking at the fact that while some of the departed had their dear ones close by, albeit in PPE kits, a lot of the departed had absolutely no one as they took their final journey.”

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