Magsaysay award winner P Sainath, who writes extensively about rural India and the poor, and Karan Thapar, who is in the news constantly with his combative television interviews with politicians and other newsmakers, won the top honours at the 3rd Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards here last night.
Sainath, who is the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, was chosen the Journalist of the Year 200708 for print media and Thapar for broadcast media.
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan gave away the awards at a function here yesterday evening.
The awards were decided by a jury that included former Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, director Bakul Dholakia, HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, jurist Fali S Nariman, industrialist Keshub Mahindra, agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, former Cabinet Secretary Naresh Chandra, Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, marketing strategist Rama Bijapurkar, Hindustan Times chairperson Shobhana Bhartia, film-maker Shyam Benegal and former ONGC Chairman Subir Raha.
The following is a full list of the awardees:
• Journalist of the Year, Print: P. Sainath
• Journalist of the Year, Broadcast: Karan Thapar
• Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award For Civic Journalism, Print: Sayli Udas Mankikar,The Hindustan Times
• Uncovering India Invisible, Broadcast: Mridu Bhandari, CNN-IBN
• Uncovering India Invisible, Print: Neelesh Misra & Nagendar Sharma, The Hindustan Times
• Excellence In Journalism Award, Hindi, Broadcast: Umashankar Singh, NDTV
• Excellence In Journalism Award, Hindi, Print: Punya Prasun Bajpai, Pratham Pravakta
• Film and Television Journalism, Broadcast: Vaishali Sood, CNN-IBN
• Film and Television Journalism, Print: Shoma Chaudhury, Tehelka
• Reporting On HIV/AIDS, English, Print: Dnyanesh V. Jathar, The Week
• Reporting On HIV/AIDS, Marathi, Print: Savita Vikram Harkare, Lokmat
• Books (Non-Fiction), Print: Ramchandra Guha
• Regional Languages, Broadcast: M.S. Raghavender & Shital Morjaria, TV9
• Regional Languages, Print: P.K. Prakash, Madhyamam Daily
• Sports Journalism, Broadcast: Rudraneil Sengupta, CNN-IBN
• Sports Journalism, Print: Sandeep Dwivedi, The Indian Express
• Reporting from J&K and the North-East, Broadcast: V.K. Shashi Kumar & Nidhi Razdan, CNN-IBN & NDTV
• Reporting from J&K and the North-East, Print: Muzamil Jaleel, The Indian Express
• Environmental Reporting, Broadcast: Swati Thiyagarajan, NDTV
• Environmental Reporting, Print: Sonu Jain, The Indian Express
• Business And Economic Journalism, Broadcast: Abhishek Upadhyay, IBN7
• Business And Economic Journalism, Print: P. Vaidyanathan Iyer, Business World
• Foreign Correspondent Covering India, Print: Joseph Johnson, Financial Times
• Political Reporting, Broadcast: Sreenivasan Jain, NDTV
• Political Reporting, Print: Subrata Nagchoudhury & Ravik Bhattacharya, The Indian Express
Mr Justice Balakrishnan urged the media to guard against "intrusive news gathering" and abstain from "undue sensationalism." He said care must be taken to ensure the media remains accurate and responsible.
Viveck Goenka, Chairman of the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Foundation that administers the awards, said: "Acknowledging excellence in journalism is the best way to nurture it. Some of the best work in journalism is about shining light in dark corners...we hope that the awards magnify that light for all of us to see."
"Excellence in journalism, whatever the technology, whatever the trend, is all about telling us what we don’t know, making us question what we think we know. With honesty. The winners reaffirm our faith in journalism as an act of character," he said.
While accepting his award, Sainath said he was grateful recognised "a kind of journalism normally given the short shrift". Thapar gave credit to his entire team. "Though I might be the face, questions are put into my mouth by them."
The Indian Express group also presented two awards for its staff members under 30, instituted in the name of journalists who died on duty. The Sanjiv Sinha Memorial Award for Excellence in Reporting went to Smita Nair for her exclusive reports on the Malegaon blast investigation. Nair dedicated the award to Hemant Karkare, the ATS chief who led the investigation, and was later killed in the Mumbai terror attack. Sinha, an Express Special Correspondent, was killed along with Madhavrao Scindia in a plane crash in 2001.
The Priya Chandrashekhar Memorial Award for Excellence in Editing was awarded to Amrita Dutta. Priya, a copy editor, died in a car crash while on an assignment in Jammu in 1997.
Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta said the awards would be bigger in terms of scale and prize money next year. He said three more categories would be added: Comment and Interpretative Writing (Print), and Investigative Reporting and Spot Reporting (Print and Broadcast).