When there is chaos all around, who will listen to a weak voice? When you move away from the mainstream and do something different, when you take a parallel approach, it often brings you down. But just when it all seems futile, the brave voice inside you can be heard.
President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Awards to four journalists at The Quint. This shows the worth of fearless journalism.
The categories and stories for which the awards have been given speak volumes about the past, present and future conditions of our nation.
Quint Hindi’s Shadab Moizee won in the Hindi Journalism category
Shadab had portrayed the sufferings of the victims and the families of the Muzaffarnagar riots in one of his documentaries. He showed how despite five years having passed since the riots, the victims don't want to go back there, how they are still searching for their family and the cops still say they are missing. It was a story of pain, suffering, and yet, about humanity.
Poonam Agarwal won the award in the Investigative Journalism category
Poonam delicately analysed and asserted that the electoral bonds used to rid the elections of corruption and make the process transparent is actually problematic. She was the first journalist to expose that the bonds have a hidden number via which the donor can be identified.
The Quint’s Asmita Nandy and Meghnad Bose won in the Uncovering India: Invisible (broadcast) category for their documentary, ‘The Making of Lynchistan’.
Hina Rohtagi got the same award for the print category, who wrote about the people of Morni, Haryana, and their problems. She talked about how residents crossed a 20 feet pipeline to go to school or for work.
News18's Anirudh Ghoshal won the award in the Civics category for his report on how the UP government's claims regarding the state being rid of encephalitis was incorrect.
BBC News Hindi's Sarvapriya Sangwan won the award in the broadcast section of the Environment/Science category for a story from Jadugora, Jharkhand, about people affected by Uranium, and asks if this area is paying the price for India's nuclear dreams.
In the regional category, Anwesha Banarjee won it for her reportage on human trafficking.
These awards have been given at a time when the nation is readily protesting against the CAA-NRC. These awards have been given for propagating the voices of the oppressed and marginalised communities.
While presenting these awards, President Ram Nath Kovind said:
"“A faction of the media is propagating entertainment in the form of news.”" - Ram Nath Kovind, President
Meanwhile, Vivek Goenka, Managing Director, Indian Express Group, stressed on the rise of quality work in new media journalism.
"“Quality entries from TV has been less, digital did better.”" - Vivek Goenka, Managing Director, Indian Express Group
Goenka's words are uplifting for new media and digital media, which are trying to break boundaries despite several obstacles. And Ram Nath Kovind's words are gospel to the fact that news isn't just reporting events, but also talking about societal issues and about the oppressed.
This goes to say that journalists should keep up the good work because somewhere, some way, it is registering and having an impact.
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