The Media Foundation has invited nominations for its annual Chameli Devi Jain Awards for an Outstanding Woman Mediaperson for the year 2011-12.
Journalists in print, broadcast and current affairs, documentary films are eligible; and it also extends to photographers, cartoonists and newspaper designers.
The criteria for selection will be excellence, analytical skills, social concern, insights, style, innovation, courage and compassion. In a release issued, it was stated that preference would be given to small town/ rural and Indian language journalists.
Nominations should be addressed to: BG Verghese, C - 11 Dewan Shree Apartments, 30 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi - 110001. Last date for receiving nominations is February 15, 2012.
The award will be announced before the actual presentation ceremony, which will be held at the India International Centre Multipurpose Hall, Delhi on March 16, 2012.
The Chameli Devi Jain Award was established in the year 1979 to encourage the freedom and high standards in the media. The initial funding came from the balance of the election funds raised in 1977 by and on behalf of BG Verghese, former Editor of Hindustan Times, to contest from the Mavellikara seat to the Lok Sabha from Kerala on behalf of the combined Opposition against the Congress after the Emergency. He had stood on the platform of freedom of expression of the press.
A year later, the late Lakshmi Chand Jain helped the Media Foundation institute an annual award for “an outstanding women journalist” in the name of his mother, Chameli Jain, a Delhi housewife who joined her husband in the freedom struggle, exemplifying courage and commitment to the Independence movement.
Some of India’s best known and respected journalists have won this award, which includes a citation and books worth Rs 8,000-10,000. Though modest as prizes go, The Award has gained high prestige for its independent process of selection and the calibre of its jurors and awardees every year.
A book of essays on their life and work has been written by almost 40 awardees and will be published by Tranquebar-Westland Press (a Tata imprint) in March 2012 on behalf of Media Foundation. Women journalists have set new media standards, redefined ‘news’ and have brought a degree of sensitivity, caring and integrity to the profession as will be evident from a reading of the forthcoming Chameli Story.
The winner of the Chameli Devi Jain Award last year was Shahina KK of Tehelka, Trivandrum.