Shekhar Bhatia is MMU Journalist of the Year

Shekhar Bhatia was rewarded with the Journalist of the Year accolade at the Asian Media Awards.

Evening Standard reporter Shekhar Bhatia was rewarded with the MMU and Routes into Languages North West Journalist of the Year accolade at the Asian Media Awards.

In 2014 the shortlist again featured some of the UK’s most accomplished journalists from TV, print and radio.

Shekhar is a journalist who in 2014 celebrated 30 years on Fleet Street secured his first staff position on the Evening Standard from local newspapers in East London which he joined at 17.

He was with the Evening Standard for 10 years before joining the Daily Express where he was chief reporter and show business editor.

In recent years he has produced documentaries for Channel Four’s Cutting Edge, Dispatches and the BBC’s Panorama.

This has included the first television interview with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents in South Africa and a special investigation into the death of Anni Dewani.

He said: “I’m very honoured, grateful, humbled and totally knocked out by this. It’s amazing.

“It’s been an incredible year for me. I’ve just came back from South Africa on Friday.

“It’s a tough and gruelling exercise but an honourable and wonderful career. I’m very lucky to have met some great people and to get this is incredible.

“The murder of Anni Dewani which I reported on since the beginning has been incredibly humbling, just seeing the devastation on her dad’s face. I spent four months with them and being a father myself I can’t imagine what he has gone through.”

“I want to dedicate this award to my daughter Chemeli.”

The 2014 journalist of the Year award was again sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University and Route into Languages North West.

The Dean of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Dr Sharon Handley said:

“Manchester Metropolitan University has a real commitment to engaging with and representing the community it serves.

“We are proud of the contributions our ethnically diverse communities make, and proud to be at the forefront of promoting and celebrating the outstanding achievements being made in the media sector.

“We recognise the importance of promoting journalism within the Asian community to ensure that people with a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives enter the profession.”

Routes into Languages Project Manager, Yasmin Hussain said:

“The sponsorship demonstrates our support for raising the profile of journalism to produce future talented journalists.

“Both the faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science and Routes into Languages NW are committed to raising educational attainment and achievement of pupils across the region.”

The 2014 finalists included, Anushka Asthana, Sky News’ Political Correspondent; BBC presenter Sangita Myska; Asjad Nazir Entertainment Editor at the Eastern Eye; Catrin Nye,  Reporter, BBC Asian Network and Abul Taher Journalist on the Mail on Sunday.

Special awards on the night went to Krishnan Guru-Murthy who was named Media Personality of the Year; Nina Wadia who collected the Sophiya Haque Services to British Television Award and Waris Hussein who was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Media Award.

The Best Investigation Award went to Ross Kemp for the Extreme World: India episode. Chris Bisson who plays Jai Sharma on Emmerdale was named as Best TV character.

The Asian Media Awards were held at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on Tuesday October 28 and were sponsored by the University of Salford and Asons Solicitors.

The event was hosted by Manish Bhasin from the BBC and Sam Ali Khan of ITV Central.

Event partners included ITV, MediaCom and Press Association Training.

Photo by Saty Singh – Studio 4 Photography

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