From a heart-rending portrayal of farmer suicides and starvation deaths in Odisha to a heart-warming series on people who beat the caste barrier; from hard-hitting reports on the impact of the Maharashtra beef ban on farmers and the meat industry to a stinging chronicle of Adivasi killings in Bodoland — the ninth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards for 2015 was an acknowledgment of stories that needed telling.
The 37 journalists, who are receiving their awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told their stories the way they should be — simply, factually. The awards, which have been given to over 300 journalists from 50 organisations so far, are a celebration of rigour, accuracy and fairness in news. This year, the winning stories were selected by an eminent five-member jury.
Ashwaq Masoodi of Mint won the award in the ‘Uncovering India Invisible’ category for her vivid portrayal of young Indians – from businesswomen to wrestlers – who broke away from the clutches of caste. Mathew Philip of The Times of India won the Civic Journalism award for his sharp reportage on the use of substandard material in road construction in Chennai.
In the ‘Foreign Correspondent Covering India’ category, John Mallet of The Financial Times won the honour for his hard-hitting reports on pollution in the Ganga.
Author and film critic Anna M M Vetticad was awarded in the ‘Commentary and Interpretative Writing’ category for her piece on the stereotypical portrayal of women in TV and films. Pramit Bhattacharya of Mint won in the same category for his story that exposed how micro-finance may not always be as inclusive as is perceived.
The Indian Express’s Pritha Chatterjee and Aniruddha Ghosal bagged the honour in the Environmental Reporting section for their investigative series, ‘Death by Breath’, which showed how political inaction and the administration’s apathy had turned the air in India’s capital into a cocktail of toxins. In the Sports Journalism category, Devendra Pandey won the award for exposing conflict of interest and irregular deals in the Indian Premier League. Esha Roy’s report on a quaint Manipur village, which was preparing to be a Smart City, won her the award in the ‘Reporting from J&K and the Northeast’ category. In the ‘Reporting on Politics and Government category, Ashutosh Bhardwaj’s expose of financial foul play before bypolls in Chhattisgarh was chosen for the honour. Khushboo Narayan’s reports that probed top corporates who are loan defaulters, won her the award in the ‘Business and Economics Journalism’ category.
The other winner in ‘Business and Economics Journalism’ was Rajeev Dubey of Business Today for his report on India’s burgeoning corporate debt.
In the Broadcast section, Sushil C Bahuguna of NDTV India won the Environmental Reporting award for his investigative reports on how development projects were destroying the eco-system in Uttarakhand. Archana Shukla of CNBC TV18 bagged the Business and Economics Journalism award for highlighting the gap between government projects and their delivery in a detailed series titled, ‘What’s Ailing Rural India’. The Investigative Reporting award in broadcast was given to Ganesh Suratchand Thakur of ABP News. He won the award for his investigation into the alleged abduction and detention of girls by the Sanatan Sanstha.
Shamik Bag of Mint won the award in the Feature Writing category, for his report on the life and death of Malli Mastan Babu, India’s first 7-Summiteer.
The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, the biggest annual event in the Indian media calendar, was instituted by the Ramnath Goenka Foundation in 2005 to celebrate the legacy of the founder of The Indian Express Group. It recognises excellence in journalism and showcases outstanding contributions by individuals each year.
LIST OF WINNERS
REPORTING FROM J&K AND THE NORTHEAST: Subhajit Sengupta, CNN-IBN
HINDI: Sanjay Nandan, ABP News; Syeda Afifa Khatoon, NEWS24
REGIONAL LANGUAGE : Pramod Shastri G, TV9
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING: Sushil C Bahuguna, NDTV India
UNCOVERING INDIA INVISIBLE: Sarada Lahangir, Kalinga TV
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS JOURNALISM: Archana Shukla, CNBC TV18
REPORTING ON POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT: Halimabi Abdul Kureshi, IBN Lokmat
SPORTS JOURNALISM: Sanjeeb Mukherjea, CNN-IBN
ON-THE-SPOT REPORTING: Aamir Rafiq Peerzada, NDTV
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING: Rakesh Solanky, NDTV
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: Ganesh Suratchand Thakur, ABP News
REPORTING FROM J&K AND THE NORTHEAST : Esha Roy, The Indian Express; Maddipatla Rajshekhar Scroll.in
HINDI: Santosh Kumar, India Today
REGIONAL LANGUAGES: Firos Khan M , Madhyamam Daily, Nileena Atholi, Mathrubhumi
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING: Pritha Chatterjee, The Indian Express; Aniruddha Ghosal
The Indian Express
UNCOVERING INDIA INVISIBLE: Ashwaq Masoodi, Mint
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS JOURNALISM: Khushboo Narayan, The Indian Express; Rajeev Dubey, Business Today
REPORTING ON POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT: Ashutosh Bhardwaj, The Indian Express
SPORTS JOURNALISM: Devendra Pandey, The Indian Express
ON-THE-SPOT REPORTING: Nayantara Narayanan, Scroll.in
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: Manisha Pande, Newslaundry; Sandeep Pai, Newslaundry
FEATURE WRITING: Shamik Bag, Mint; Sreedevi T V, Malayala Manorama
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT COVERING INDIA: Victor John Mallet, Financial Times
COMMENTARY AND INTERPRETATIVE WRITING: Anna MM Vetticad, Blink; Pramit Bhattacharya, Mint
CIVIC JOURNALISM: Christin Mathew Philip, The Times of India
PHOTOJOURNALISM: Burhaan Kinu, Hindustan Times
BOOKS (NON-FICTION): Akshaya Mukul, Gita Press And The Making Of Hindu India