KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Malay Mail journalist Milad Hassandarvish took home the prize for Outstanding Achievement in web-based media for the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) 2023 Red Ribbon Media Awards.
Hassandarvish won the award for his article and video for Life of misery: Chow Kit’s urban poor left with little to no hope due to Covid-19 pandemic.
He took home RM5,000 cash prize, trophy, and certificate of excellence.
The article was written by Hassandarvish with Ahmad Zamzahuri as lead videographer, Hari Anggara and Shafwan Zaidon as cameramen, and Vincent Chua as voiceover and video editing.
The Red Ribbon Media Award recognises journalistic and creative excellence in all media outlets dedicated to ending AIDS.
The story followed the works of NGOs to help sex workers and drug users living Chow Kit and their struggles against HIV and AIDs.
Hassandarvish and his team worked on the project for two weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns in 2021.
Hassandarvish expressed his gratitude towards MAF for recognising journalists' efforts and works.
“I'm glad that the story was recognised as it's about long-rooted issues faced by many sex workers, drug users and the homeless in Chow Kit district.
“It is important to highlight the improvements and also the issues that still exists despite many years of efforts by various groups.”
Hassandarvish also thanked PT Foundation, Kechara Soup Kitchen and Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Umum Malaysia for their assistance to facilitate interviews with the sex workers and the homeless featured in the documentary.
Ahmad meanwhile thanked MAF for the recognition and said it felt great as the team went through many challenges filming the documentary during the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order.
“We had to make sure safety precautions were taken and also ensure everyone were safe.
“It was a great experience and I'm glad our work was recognised.”
He won the award along with Syed Farradino Syed Omar of Astro Awani for Broadcast Media and Mohd Izzatul Izuan Tahir of Sinar Harian for Print Media.
“The role of media is crucial in our efforts to end the AIDs epidemic in Malaysia by 2030,” deputy director-general of Health Datuk Dr Nur Hayati Rusli said.
“The media serves as a bridge between the experts and the general public using well researched content to dispel myths and misconceptions.”
“Accurate reporting and accurate storytelling can help in break down barriers in understanding and creating emphathy, fostering an environment and compassion.
Yayasan Sime Darby presented MAF with a RM1.5 million cheque which will mark the Phase 4 Extension of the Leadership in HIV/AIDS Advocacy Grant.
Also present at the event were MAF Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman and YSD Governing Council Member Puan Sri Normah Hashim.