Kashmiri Journalist Awarded with Peter Mackler Prize

Renowned for her incredible work, Kashmiri journalist; Masrat Zahra was awarded the Peter Mackler Prize for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.

Kashmiri journalist, Masrat Zahra, known for her work on women in Kashmir. She talks about women and tells their stories who would otherwise not be heard or given importance to. “To work in this industry is to bring the truth,” the 26-year-old journalist said during a virtual ceremony.

She was awarded the Peter Mackler Prize for Courageous and Ethical Journalism 2020 on Thursday, distributed by the Global Media Forum in partnership with Agence France Presse and Reporters without Borders. The Kashmiri Journalist further says, “My pictures offer a glimpse of the everyday struggle of the people in Kashmir; it gives a voice to the ones silenced by the conflict.”

Even though Zahra did receive considerable backlash for her work on Kashmiri women. The Kashmiri population began mistrusting her and blamed her for being involved with the Indian Intelligence, meanwhile, the Indian authorities would harass her for spreading wrongful information.

Furthermore, it is safe to say that the Kashmiri Journalist, Masrat Zahra, risked her life to narrate the stories of multiple Kashmiri women. In June 2020, the administration in Srinagar announced a new policy that stated that censorship was a right to all, and the journalists were allowed to be persecuted if they were found violating this law.

Upon which, Zahra said that being a Muslim and a Kashmiri Journalist accounted for most of her anxiety. Although, it is also what drives her and is a part of her identity now. “The Kashmiri Journalist’s complete dedication to reporting the story, no matter the risks, along with her mental fearlessness and creative approach to using any medium at her disposal to bear witness to the world made our choice easy.”

“Masrat Zahra exhibits the very qualities that my late husband, Peter Mackler, fostered in the new generation of reporters whose path he crossed,” said Catherine Antoine, president of the Global Media Forum Training Group and founder of the award.

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