Young journalists sat alongside veterans, political reporters shared the spotlight with news-gatherers from entertainment, and men and women who follow the cover drives on field caught up with analysts from the world of finance. They all came together in the winners gallery at the seventh Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism. “Excellence in journalism is not in short supply,” said Viveck Goenka, Chairman, The Express Group, at the awards function, held in Delhi on Tuesday.
At ITC Maurya’s Kamal Mahal, the rows of chairs filled fast and early as guests from a wide range of fields got together to honour the best in Indian journalism. Among those present were Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla, Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Supreme Court judge Arjan Kumar Sikri, BJP MP and National General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Election Commissioner HS Brahma and Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan.
The evening also marked the first Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture, delivered by journalist and activist Mariane Pearl. “I have come today to listen to you,” said Mahajan, encapsulating what many guests felt at the ceremony.Pearl began her talk by saying, “I am coming to speak at a deeply troubled time.” She gave a personal account of her life during and after the kidnapping and killing of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, by militants, 12 years ago.The awards, for 2011 and 2012, recognised achievements in categories such as Environment Reporting, On The Spot Reporting, Reporting from J&K and The Northeast, Commentary and Interpretative Writing and Books (Non-Fiction), with the coveted Journalist of the Year 2012 award going to Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV 24×7.