Journalist Yashraj Sharma wins Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2022

Yashraj’s video message being displayed on the sets of Thompson Foundation award event.

Yashraj Sharma, an interim editor of the Srinagar-based online news portal The Kashmir Walla, has won the Thomson Foundation’s Young Journalist Award 2022.

The story that fetched the award talks about the women, abortions and treatment of women in Indian society. The story was published in the UK in The Guardian.

“Yashraj is among a number of journalists who cannot leave Indian-administered Kashmir for legal reasons after the region’s special status was revoked in 2019,” the Thomson Foundation said in a statement.

“Yashraj has been accused of inciting riots after he reported that Kashmiri school children were being forced to celebrate India’s Republic Day. He’s on bail which means he can’t leave the country,” it said.

“As history tells us, journalism is the most important part of any society or any civilisation. It empowers people, empowers us to hold elected officials or people holding powerful offices. We are able to hold them accountable. Pursuing independent journalism is more important than ever. Right now, we are not just facing one or two crises. The crises that journalists are facing in the world are not binary. They are multidimensional,” Yashraj told The Thomson Foundation.

The shortlist for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award is judged by an external panel from the Foreign Press Association Awards.

This year’s panel includes top journalists such as Michael Crick, a British journalist for more than 30 years, who was also founding member of Channel 4 News; Stryker McGuire, former senior editor at Bloomberg Markets; Megha Mohan, the BBC’s first gender and identity correspondent; and Chair of the FPA judges, Alessandro Allocca, a freelance journalist working for the Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica.

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