‘Journalism should be fair… guard against fake news’

Anuradha Mascarenhas of The Indian Express won the award in the Gender-Based Reporting category.

Highlighting the perils of fake news, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday urged the media to always maintain objectivity, fairness and accuracy.

Speaking at an event organised by the Press Council of India to observe National Press Day and confer National Awards for Excellence in Journalism, Naidu said, “The cardinal principle of journalism is to present fair, objective, accurate and balanced information to the reader and viewer without journalists assuming the role of the gatekeepers. With the electronic and social media providing news by the minute with alerts and flashes on smartphones, journalists will have to exercise greater caution and guard against ‘fake news’, disinformation and misinformation.”

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, who also attended the event, said that fake news is a bigger crisis than paid news.

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar present the National Award for Excellence in Journalism (Financial Reporting category) to Sandeep Singh and Krishn Kaushik of The Indian Express, at Vigyan Bavan in New Delhi. (Amit Mehra)

Naidu awarded the winners of the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019. Three journalists from The Indian Express —- Associate Editor Sandeep Singh, Special Correspondent Krishn Kaushik and Senior Editor Anuradha Mascarenhas —- were honoured for their outstanding work.

Sandeep Singh and Krishn Kaushik won the award in the Financial Reporting category for their series of investigative reports on the conflict of interest in the business dealings of then ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s family members with companies to which ICICI Bank had loaned hundreds of crores of rupees. The three-part series was published in March-April 2018.

Anuradha Mascarenhas won the award in the Gender-Based Reporting category for her report on how locals in Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh were reaching out to tribal women to ensure zero maternal deaths. It was published in July 2018. Mascarenhas is sharing the award with Ruby Sarkar of Deshbandhu.