Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi Media Awards to honour media excellence in exposing corruption in India

MUMBAI: Transparency International India is pleased to announce the first ever M.S. Oberoi Gold Awards for excellence in exposing the corruption through the media to Mr. Varghese K. George of the Indian Express and Mr. Rohit Khanna of Sit, CNN-IBN.

The Silver Awards are shared by Mr. M.L. Narsimha Reddy of the Telugu Daily Eenadu and Mr. Samudra Gupta Kashyap of the Indian Express in the Print category and by Mr. Saurabh Shukla of Aaj Tak and Mr. Sidhartha Gautam of SIT, CNN-IBN in the Electronic category.

Transparency International India, an International Non Government Organization committed to combating corruption with support from the Oberoi Group has instituted these Journalism Awards aimed at recognizing and rewarding journalists for outstanding stories exposing corruption in India.

The jury comprised of personalities from the fields of journalism, law, industry: Mr. B. G. Verghese, Mr. Harsh Mander, Justice Leila Seth, Mr. Vinod K. Bakshi and Mr. Arun Duggal.

Speaking on behalf of the Jury, Mr. B.G. Verghese, Chairperson, said, ?While shortlisting the entries and selecting the winners, the jury has given weightage to stories that have direct and significant effect on development, progress, human rights violation or public interest.

Also the impact and significance of such disclosures and the risks and challenges countered by the journalist in breaking the story were among the factors taken into consideration in making the final decision.?

The Gold Award carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs, a medallion and citation and the Silver Award carries a cash prize of Rs. 50,000, a medallion and citation.

Announcing the awards, Admiral Tahiliani (Retd.), Chairman of Transparency International India said, ?These Awards epitomize integrity, determination and excellence, which undoubtedly are a fitting tribute to Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, whose life was an illustration of these principles?.

He added, ?Transparency International aims to increase the level of accountability and transparency of government institutions, elected representatives and the government.

In a democratic society all citizens need to take a stand against corruption and must therefore be well informed. The electronic and print media have played a vital role in generating awareness through their reach?.

Explaining the rationale for the awards Mr. P.R.S. Oberoi, Chairman, The Oberoi Group said, ?Journalists, who often at substantial personal risk, investigate and expose corrupt practices deserve applause, recognition and encouragement.

The Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi Media Awards are an effort to demonstrate our admiration for these compelling tales of courage, character and integrity. I would like to congratulate the winners for their exemplary zeal, which if relentlessly pursued by all of us, has the potential of making India a better place to live in and do business with?.

The presentations will be made on January 11, 2007 in New Delhi.

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