Press Club Mumbai awards Red Ink Award to Prannoy Roy, others

04 May,2015

By Dyanne Coelho

 

“I have heard a lady anchor on a Hindi channel, twirling her hair and saying, ‘Break kebaad, aapkoek rape dikhaenge’,” Dr. Prannoy Roy, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award said to a stunned audience as he talked about the ghastly tsunami of tabloid journalism that has inflicted the Indian media space. The co-founder of the NDTV Network was speaking at the Mumbai Press Club RedInk Awards for Excellence in Indian Journalism 2015, where he was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Often known as one of the most respected and trusted anchors in Indian journalism, Dr. Prannoy Roy blasted the tabloidization of news in India, and put the blame on advertisers. He criticized the journalists that keep their sources too close and hence alter the path of their story and emphasized the importance of maintaining stricter defamation laws so that journalists themselves cannot get away with slack trends in reporting. Talking about the lowering of standards of Indian journalism, Royretorted, “If this decline in quality continues, I believe three years from now, the Indian media will have no credibility left and Sir (pointing to Suresh Prabhu) you know what that means. It happened to politicians a long time ago.”

 

Roy, however, stressed that the laws of defamation must be governed by the courts and the legal system and that the government must never ever have a say in the Indian media.

 

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was the chief guest at the event after CM DevendraFadnavis was a no show, suggested that media houses should work on ‘Making News’ while chasing ‘Breaking News’. “A lot of positive news is left uncovered in this new trend,” he said.

 

A panel discussion – Celebrating the Voice of Dissent- was conducted that included senior journalists Shekhar Gupta, former Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express, Srineevasan Jain of NDTV, Krishna Prasad, Editor-in-Chief of Outlook and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The discussion was moderated by Sachin Kalbag, the Editor of Mid-Day.

 

The media professionals expressed concern at some politicians turning ‘mini dictators’ and trying to threaten the freedom of speech. They also took a jab at the BJP government for the comment made by a party member that every Hindu woman must have at least four children.

 

The RedInk Award for Impact Editor of the year went to Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, for his ability to capture eyeballs and expand audience reach with what in his own words is ‘the longest one hour television news debate.’ On being asked what he has to say to those who criticize his form of journalism saying that it has a negative impact, Arnab is quick to respond, “We are in the business of news, not in the business of compliments. So for us criticism and praise in equal measure is okay, as long as we do our job honestly.”

 

The RedInk Award for Journalist of the Year, instituted for the first time, went to Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV for his consistent investigative work epitomized in his series ‘Truth versus Hype’ and other programmes. Scroll.in was awarded the ‘Best News Start-Up of the Year’ for scaling up its influence rapidly as an alternative source of news and features.

 

The RedInk Award for business journalism in the print medium went to Dinesh Narayanan of The Caravan Magazine and in the television space went to Dibang from ABP News.

 

The award for Crime journalism in print was shared by two journalists, Leena Reghunath of the Caravan Magazine and Vinod Kumar Menon of Mid Day. In the broadcast space the RedInk award for excellence in crime reporting went to TarunNangia and Dipu Rai of Zee Business.

 

Sharad Vyas ofMid Day bagged the award for excellence in Environment reporting, while in the broadcast category, the award was shared byUmeshKumavat from ABP News and Rajat Singh of AajTak.Kumawat’s wife walked up on stage proudly to receive the award on his behalf as he was in Nepal reporting at the time.

 

In the category of Health and Wellness, the RedInk award in the print space went to Johnson Poovanthuruth from Deepika Magazine and to Nikita Saxena from Caravan Magazine. For the broadcast category, VrushaliPurandare of TV-9 walked away with the award.

 

The Redink Award for the Human Rights category in print went to SalilTripathi, from The Caravan Magazine and for television to Shams Tahir Khan of AajTak.

 

The much-awaited RedInk award for excellence in political reportage in print went to Dinesh Narayanan of The Caravan Magazine and in broadcast; it went to Jitendra Dixit of ABP News.

 

Caravan continued to steal the show as  Rahul Bhatia walked away with the RedInk award for excellence in sports journalism in the print space, whereas Suprita Das of NDTV won the same in the broadcast space.

 

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