Over the past four years,The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards have acknowledged and applauded the best in the business. This Thursday they will do that once again. On July 22,the awards will be given away at an event in New Delhi,presided over by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards were introduced in 2006 by the Express Group as part of the centenary year celebrations of its founder Ramnath Goenka. The awards were instituted to felicitate the finest minds in journalism. Speaking at the inaugural award ceremony,Express chairman Viveck Goenka had said,When the Ramnath Goenka Foundation launched these awards,I had said that if the worlds oldest democracy,the United States,has the Pulitzer Prizes,the worlds largest and most diverse democracy has to have its own awards.
The awards recognise the courage and zeal of journalists who have demonstrated their exceptional abilities in their profession and have produced work that continues to impact the lives of many. The awards honour print and broadcast journalists who follow standards of accuracy,ethics and fairness in their reportage.
At last years award ceremony,presided over by the then Chief Justice of India,K G Balakrishnan,the Journalist of the Year Award for Print went to P Sainath of The Hindu for his incisive analysis of farmer suicides in Vidarbha in 2006. The Journalist of the Year (Broadcast) award went to Karan Thapar for his aggressive and unnerving interviews of celebrities and politicians on his show The Devils Advocate on CNN-IBN.
Ramachandra Guha was awarded the Best Non-fiction Author for India after Gandhi,based on an extensive research covering 60 years of Indian history.
The award for Journalism in a Regional Language (Print) went to P K Prakash from Madhyamam Daily for his series Gambles of the market featuring farmer suicides in the Kerala countryside.
The award for Best Reporting on Jammu and Kashmir was presented to Muzamil Jaleel from The Indian Express for his investigations on the sex scandals involving top officials and fake encounters which involved the police and the Army targeting civilians.
The award for Best Reporter on Jammu and Kashmir (Broadcast) was presented to Nidhi Razdan from NDTV for her series on A new Kashmir representing the lives of the Kashmiri youth.
Sayli Udas Mankikar from Hindustan Times was awarded the Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism. Her reports exposing the political nexus behind the policies of the government forced the implementation of a new gymkhana policy.
Neelesh Misra and Nagender Sharma were awarded the best journalists for uncovering Invisible India (Print) reporting on the underutilised funds allocated by the Ministry of Rural Development for the insurgency-affected areas in 2006-2007.
Joseph Johnson from The Financial Times was presented an award for best Foreign Correspondent covering India for his sensitising comparative on the lost Muslim identity among Muslim intelligentsia and the reigning King Khans of Bollywood. Shoma Choudhary from Tehelka was awarded for her unconventional edge in her interviews with Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan engaging them in conversations ranging from journalism to politics to Islam. She won the award in the category of Film and Television (Print).
Dnyanesh V Jathar from The Week got the award for the Best Journalist for his reporting on HIV/AIDS. His revealing case studies on the plight of the AIDS orphans in rural Maharashtra won him this award.
Umashankar Singh from NDTV received the award for his coverage of water crisis in Madhya Pradesh that had resulted in violence in that area.
Sonu Jain from The Indian Express got the award for Environmental Reporting (Print). Her coverage on a wide range of issues,ranging from the unregulated import of mercury or asbestos to the ships reaching ship-breaking yards in Gujarat won her the award.