Journalist and broadcaster Tazeen Ahmad, who worked for the BBC and Channel 4, has died.

Ahmad, who is widely reported to have died at the age of 48, was praised for her work in shining a light on important stories with “care, sympathy and integrity” across her extensive career, which saw her work for the BBC in various TV and radio roles, including on BBC Three’s Liquid News and the channel’s 60 Seconds bulletins.

She was an investigative reporter on Channel 4’s Dispatches and she had also been a foreign correspondent for NBC News in America.

Her Dispatches documentary The Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs won an RTS Journalism award, and it was nominated for a current affairs TV Bafta.

Ahmad contributed to several newspapers and magazines, and in 2009 wrote the book The Check-out Girl, detailing her undercover work in a supermarket at the height of the recession.

A statement from Ahmad’s brothers Faheem and Nadeem said: “Farah Tazeen was an amazing individual truly loved by her family and friends.

“She encouraged and motivated and left a lasting impression on everyone she met both through her professional and personal life.

“We remain immensely proud of all she achieved – as a mother, journalist, writer and for her coaching work.

“So many people have been in touch remarking on her powerful ability to turn around people’s lives for the better.

“Her groundbreaking and award winning television reporting work took her across the world into some of its most troubled areas and, at home in the UK, Tazeen tackled difficult but crucial subjects which resulted in real change.

“She was so proud of her two young boys who are left to remember their loving, kind, smart, nurturing, beautiful mama.

“She was in an amazing room filled with sunflowers, cushions, candles and an abundance of love when she passed away, surrounded by her close friends and family. She will truly never be forgotten.”

Actor and presenter Adil Ray was among those paying tribute to Ahmad, writing on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the passing of journalist and presenter Tazeen Ahmed. She was extraordinary.

“Committed to real, authentic issues & an amazing ability to tell the stories to a wider audience. She was always lovely & full of joy. Thoughts with her family.”

Ahmad’s former management company Knight Ayton tweeted: “We were proud to have represented Tazeen Ahmad for many years. Her journalistic career deservedly flourished presenting award winning documentaries for @Channel4 and international news for @nbc.

“She shone a light on important stories but did so with care, sympathy and integrity.”

A tweet from the Asian Media Awards said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tazeen Ahmad.

“Tazeen was one of the most gifted journalists of her generation and during her life made an incredible impression on all those who met her. Our sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”

BBC News South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan tweeted: “Deeply saddened Tazeen Ahmad has died. In 2001 when I joined the launch of @bbcthree news, she was the Presenter.

“Graceful, kind and inspirational she became a mentor and friend. It meant so much to see a brilliant Asian woman excel.

“She was a dogged journalist + a role model.”