KARACHI: “The Reporters” completed a hat-trick by winning the Right to Information (RTI) Champion Award thrice in a row. Saddia Mazhar, executive editor of “The Reporters”, won this year’s RTI Champion Award in the journalist category for practicing the RTI legislation for reporting.
The Collation on Right to Information, which is made up of more than 50 non-governmental organisations, presents RTI awards to a journalist, a citizen, and a public information officer for effectively using the RTI laws.
Saddia Mazhar, who won the RTI Award in the category for journalists, had filed more than 50 information requests to various federal and provincial public bodies and used the information for her reporting she got.
Her notable RTI-based investigative stories include, among others, that the FIA’s cybercrime wing is unable to trace the social media accounts. Additionally, through her RTI request, the FIA Cyber Crime Wing was directed to share copies of the FIRs registered under the PECA Act on its website and the National Assembly was instructed to make public the privilege motions submitted by parliamentarians. The matter is currently being referred to the National Assembly’s standing committee on Privileges.
Saddia Mazhar – while addressing award distribution ceremony held in a hotel at Karachi – said, all four provinces including Federal have access to information laws. Information Commissions are also established in federal and provinces except Balochistan.
She added, it is a fact that there are some challenges in the implementation of these laws however, it can be improved only through practicing these laws.
Nadeem Tanoli, who won the RTI award in citizen category belongs to Rawalpindi. This honourable award was granted to him in recognition of his ardent advocacy of the cause and extensive use of the Federal, Sindh, Punjab, and KP RTI Acts.
Tashfeen Ashraf, Public Information Officer, Civil Aviation Authority received RTI Award in Public Information Officer Category for performing his duties with zeal and zest as Public Information Officer in the department.
The CRTI, a coalition of 53 civil society organisations, strives to adopt and enhance RTI laws in line with international best practises. Senior media representatives and CRTI partners were also present at the Award Ceremony to recognise the winners’ achievements and to add dignity to the event.