40 years of accolades
Every recognition that we receive is the start of a new challenge - of having to outdo ourselves and to push our boundaries
In the race for excellence, there is no finish line," said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
At Khaleej Times, these deeply inspiring and profound words are a daily dictum, an adage that we live by, a principle that we are focused on, and a practice that permeates everything we do.
While awards are a measure of excellence, our race is not for recognitions; we would rather have recognitions come to us than seek them out, as has been the norm and standard we have set for ourselves.
At Khaleej Times, our real recognitions come when our news stories touch the lives of others meaningfully. It could be about a sad mother reuniting with his son, it could be about a debt-ridden man getting a new lease of life thanks to the benevolence of our readers, it could be a struggling family finding a patron to send their children to school. All these were realised thanks to our readers who understand the power of the written word, and more importantly, trust us and the stories we have been bringing them, without fail, for the past 40 years.
However, we also see recognitions as a benchmark for the work we do, so that we measure up to scale with truly world-class standards. That is why we are extremely proud of the laurels we have fetched.
Our reporters continue to shine bright at award functions, especially for their coverage of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), underlining our focus on innovative and creative story-telling. Khaleej Times reporters and photographers had been dominating the DSF awards ever since the festival's inception. The year 1998 was a milestone when we won the coveted Journalism Award for Best English Story of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Best Comprehensive Coverage of the DSF Activities, Best Pictorial Portraits of the Shindagha Heritage Area and Best Coverage of Carpet Oasis. In 2014, Khaleej Times literally swept the DSF awards winning five of the top prizes in the journalism and photography categories. Journalists Suchitra Steven Samuel, Dhanusha Gokulan, Muzaffar Rizvi, Farhana Chowdhury and Suresh Pattali as well as photojournalists Kiran Prasad, Juidin Bernarrd, M Sajjad and Shihab are some of the multiple winners at the DSF and Global Village awards.
When photography in the UAE was synonymous with the Minolta-Cosmos annual awards in the 1990s, many of our photographers and staffers came out with flying colours year after year till they barred three-time winners from contesting. Veteran KT photographer Shakil Qaiser and journalist Suresh Pattali are some of the names that resonate with memories of the great Minolta moments.
KT photographers had left an indelible mark in sports photography when the nation was still evolving as an international event destination. While Shakil Qaiser won the Dubai Duty Free award for the Best Sports Photograph taken at the Dubai Tennis Open in 1999, then chief photographer Matiur Rehman won the best lensman of the 2000 DDF Dubai Open Tennis Championship. Shihab bagged the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk Year in 2015, and was honoured by the Arabian Gulf League for overall photography football coverage for the season 2017-2018.
Sajjad, a three-time winner of Sharjah Best Photographer Award, also won the Sharjah Light Festival Best Photo Award two times. Amicos UAE Chapter honoured Juidin Bernarrd for his dedication to excellence in the field of journalism in 2012. He also won the Indo Arab Cultural Fest Photography Excellence Award in 2009. Kiran Prasad's pictorial on Strait of Hormuz, a perceptive of the 5th Fleet operations from the Carrier Strike Group 9 warships won him a Special Merit Award from the Society for News Design.
At the UAE Print Awards, Khaleej Times won Gold in the Best Daily and Weekly Newspaper Category in 2006 and silver in Web Offset Printing for the Daily Newspaper Category in 2007, while it won Gold at Dubai International Printing Award in the Newspaper Category. KT also grabbed the Pan-Arab Media Quality Award in 2005.
In 2008, the UAE's Ministry of Finance and Industry honoured Issac John, Associate Business Editor of KT, for his contributions as an effective channel of communication between the Ministry and all segments of the society.
At the WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards 2017, KhaleejTimes.com was honoured for being a digital pioneer, while in 2018 Young Times, the popular title that was brought back to life in January 2018, picked up the award for Best Innovation to Engage Youth Audiences. And taking gold for the Best Data Visualisation was the 'KT Value-Added Tax Calculator'.
The latest honour that came knocking was the Indiwood Media Excellence Award which honoured Abu Dhabi Bureau chief Anjana Sankar for her extensive and live coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Winning is a habit for our truly international design team which has won 43 awards from the Society for News Design and 10 from the WorldPress international cartoon competition. While Chief Illustrators Santhoshkumar and Rajendran are the latest to bring laurels from WorldPress,
Omar Mohammed and Oscar Yanez brought three awards from the 39th SND international competition this year. At the 35th SND, the number of awards KT had scooped up was simply mind-blowing: Eleven.
Of course, these are just a few from an exhaustive list of honours. For our team, every recognition that we receive is the start of a new challenge - of having to outdo ourselves and to push our boundaries.
Excellence is our everyday mission, and recognitions energise us to deliver our best so that you, our readers, get the best in news, views and analysis, today and in the future.
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