is the first time that the Council has conceived the idea of giving
awards to promote healthy practices amongst the media, according
to Press Council chief Markandey Katju.
Katju said it is unfortunate that the importance of journalism has
not been adequately understood by society. "Without great journalists,
people will not get the information they require to form rational
opinions, which is a sine qua non for a democracy," he added.
Katju also said India has produced great journalists like Raja RamMohan
Roy, Nikhil Chakraborty, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, and in more recent
times P Sainath.
Katju has been severely critical of the media, saying a majority
of them were of a low intellectual level.
The Press Council-instituted awards would be presented every year
on the occasion of National Press Day, the Press Council said, adding
that they had been issued with the ideal of encouraging "Freedom
Nomination is open to all journalists and freelancers of Indian
nationality. The nomination has to be made by the editor of the
newspaper/ news agency. Last date for sending nominations is 16