Journalists felicitated at Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

MUMBAI: The seventh edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, instituted by The Express Group in memory of its founder was held on 9 September 2014. Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan was the chief guest at the function. She presented the awards for outstanding journalist work done in 2011 and 2012. The winners were chosen by an eminent jury from nominations in 15 categories.

Mahajan presented the awards to 59 journalists from broadcast and print media under different categories. The Journalist of the Year for 2012 went to Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV 24X7. CNN-IBN bagged five awards and NDTV 24X7 received three.

From the broadcast segment, Jajati Karan from CNN-IBN and Geeta Datta from News-X won the award for investigative journalism. Smita Nair from CNN-IBN won the award for reporting on politics and government for the year 2011. Vimal Mohan from NDTV India won the award for sports journalism for his report on how lack of facilities stands in the way of Olympics dreams.

Surbhi Khyati of The Indian Express won the award for Investigative Reporting (print) for 2011 for her series exposing the corruption in the National Rural Health Mission in Uttar Pradesh. The Investigative Reporting (print) award for 2012 went to Mehul Srivastava, Andrew Macaskill and Adi Narayan of Bloomberg News for their story on how malnutrition affects India's children. Nidhi Verma of Reuters won an award for Business and Economic Journalism (print) for her series on Iran?s oil exports to India.

Speaking at the awards, Mahajan said, ?The media is considered the fourth pillar of democracy and we expect as much responsibility and transparency from it as from the other three pillars. A free press and a fearless press are in the interests of both society and the nation.?

?In a fast-changing world, journalists must provide the people with information to make them both aware and strong. The dissemination of information is the most powerful tool in strengthening the awareness of people,? she added.

Mahajan also said that the parliamentary proceedings were not always given adequate coverage and had observed on several occasions, high level and important debates were not highlighted by the media. In fact, at times, the reporting, she said, was distorted. "I laud the media for highlighting issues of corruption and nepotism but along with this I want that the media should also focus on interesting and important debates that take place in Parliament. If the media does not give this adequate coverage then we can't reap the benefits of democracy," she said.

The Indian Express Group chairman Viveck Goenka said, ?2011 and 2012, for which the awards were being given, were pivotal years for the country which saw the birth of an anti-corruption movement, its steady evolution and often devolution into a political party.?

Goenka stressed the importance of institutions in facilitating good journalism. "In our frantic count of how many followers we have on social media and amid the pressure to collapse an argument into 20 seconds we tend to forget that good journalism needs a good ecosystem of individuals and institutions," he added.

The awards pay tribute to journalists from print and broadcast who maintain the highest standards of their profession even in the face of political and economic pressures, who produce work that underline the values of good journalism ? excellence and enterprise, courage and fairness.

To view the entire winner list please click here

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