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IPI-India award: The Print, NDTV win award for 'Excellence in Journalism'

Awardees presented with cash prize of Rs.2 lakh, trophy, and a citation

IPI-India award for NDTV and The Print Justice U.U. Lalit, former Chief Justice of India (third left) along with Shekhar Gupta, Editor of The Print (left), Phillip Mathew, Editor, THE WEEK (second left), Justice Madan Lokur (third right), Saurabh Shukla of the NDTV (second right) and N. Ravi, Chairman, IPI-India and Director, The Hindu (right) at the IPI-India award ceremony in New Delhi | Arvind Jain

The IPI-India Award for Excellence in Journalism for the year 2022 was jointly awarded to The Print and NDTV at an event held in New Delhi on Friday.

Shekhar Gupta, Editor of The Print and Saurabh Shukla of the NDTV received the award from Justice U.U. Lalit, former Chief Justice of India. The winners were presented with cash prize of Rs.2 lakh, a trophy and a citation.

According to a release, The Print was selected for their series of stories which exposed how hospitals, local bodies and governments in various states mismanaged the support system for the fight against Covid. The stories were done by several of their reporters after visiting hospitals, interviewing hospital authorities and govt officials and even funeral homes. NDTV was selected for their expose of the hate speeches made by certain religious men in Haridwar. The expose also led to the arrest of a few of the speakers, the release said.

Phillip Mathew, Editor, THE WEEK and Fellow of IPI-International and Justice Madan Lokur congratulated the awardees. 

In his address, former CJI Lalit called journalists sentinels of the society. “Fair criticism is the right of every individual, is the cherished right of every journalist. I have every right to comment upon the policies and acts of the government. If I do that then it is not sedition. Sedition is something bigger than that: inciting disaffection to incite rebellion. If I do something which is to highlight the problems of people and I put it across, it is not sedition," Justice Lalit said quoting Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Justice Madan Lokur said the assault on freedom of the press continues. “Assault on freedom of expression of media deprives us of our right to information. If we don’t get information which should be made available to us then it is a problem. This is one of the battles media has to fight, and it has to fight courageously,” Lokur said. He added that activism was needed from the Supreme Court when it comes to issues of personal liberty, as bail was difficult to get.

Chairman of IPI-India N.Ravi called for the removal of the sedition law from the statute books. “Sedition is a colonial-era law under which leaders across the political spectrum starting with Tilak through Savarkar, Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. It is time sedition was removed from the statute book, taking advantage of the Supreme Court’s stay.” 

Addressing at the event, Shekhar Gupta credited the culture of a newsroom, the teamwork, which goes into the making of a story even though it's just the reporter who gets the byline. Saurabh Shukla after receiving the award said the expose was not just against those making the hate speech but also against the system, the police which did not take action.

R. Prasannan, Resident Editor, THE WEEK proposed vote of thanks.

The jury of Editors and Publishers was headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, former judge of the Supreme Court. Also comprised N. Ravi, Chairman, IPI-India and Director, The Hindu, M.K. Razdan, former Editor-in-Chief, Press Trust of India, Riyad Mathew, Chief Associate Editor and Director, THE WEEK. 


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