IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism goes to The Tribune
Group commends value of public interest journalism
NEW DELHI/VIENNA, Jan 2, 2013 – The International Press Institute’s Indian National Committee has named Chandigarh-based English-language newspaper The Tribune as the 2012 recipient of its IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism.
IPI India, in a press release noting the newspaper’s “outstanding journalistic work done during 2011,” specifically recognized Tribune Bureau Chief “Prabhjot Singh’s in-depth series on the looting of Punjab’s public transport by powerful politicians and bureaucrats, leading to a huge burden on the people of Punjab”.
A distinguished jury of editors and publishers chose The Tribune from a list of nominations forwarded to IPI India and commended the newspaper’s investigation, published in five parts, as an example of “crusading journalism in the cause of larger public interest”.
Headed by the former chief justice of Indian and the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. A.S. Annand, the jury also included IPI Executive Board Member Mr. N. Ravi, chairman of IPI India and director of The Hindu; Mr. M.K. Razdan, editor-in-chief of the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency; Mr. T.N. Ninan, chairman and chief editor of the Business Standard newspaper; and Mr. Riyad Mathew, senior assistant editor of the Malayala Manorama newspaper.
“We congratulate The Tribune for this important award,” IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. “The importance of journalism that addresses issues of profound public interest in the world’s most populous democracy is unquestionable and we commend our Indian National Committee for promoting such journalism through this award.”
The award carries a cash prize of approximately € 2,775 and winners also receive a trophy and a citation. Representatives of The Tribune are scheduled to receive the award at a ceremony in New Delhi by the first week of February.
IPI India instituted the annual award in 2003 to recognise and honour the best work by an Indian media organisation or journalist working in print, radio, television or online journalism done in furtherance of the public interest, including safeguarding freedom of the press and other human rights.
The group gave the first award to The Indian Express for its reporting on riots in Gujarat in 2002 and their aftermath. The second award, given in 2004, went to broadcaster NDTV for its exposure of a baby-swapping racket in Hyderabad and for NDTV’s coverage of the corruption trial surrounding the “Telgi stamp scam”, which involved the production of counterfeit stamp paper.
IPI India’s jury found no entry eligible for the award in 2005, but in 2006, it was given to The Indian Express for its investigations of a flood relief scam in Bihar and into vanishing tigers. In 2007, Outlook magazine was selected for its investigation into two defence scandals relating to the purchase of Scorpene submarines and to leaks from the Indian Navy’s war room.
The jury in 2008 again found no entry eligible for the award, but in 2009, Bidisha Goshal of The Week received the prize for her investigation into the sexual victimisation of the widows of farmers who committed suicide in Vidarbha and to The Indian Express for its investigation into Hindu terror links to blasts in Malegaon and Modasa, respectively, in 2006 and 2008.
IPI India gave Tehelka the award in 2010 for its graphic exposé of the cold-blooded execution of innocent bystanders by security forces in Manipur. In 2011, the award was given jointly to Tehelka for its exposé of the “rent a riot” tactics of the Hindu group Sree Rama Sene in Karnataka and to The Week for its sustained investigation into sham medical and dental colleges which had no doctors, patients or facilities, but were permitted to award medical and dental degrees to thousands of students.
The India Chapter of IPI is an active forum of editors, publishers and senior executives of newspapers, magazines and news agencies, all of whom are members of IPI. The India Chapter successfully hosted IPI’s World Congress and General Assembly in 1966 and 2001, and is active in addressing various issues related to press freedom.