As part of the ongoing centenary year celebrations of its founder, Ramnath Goenka, the Indian Express Group will be presenting the newly instituted Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism in the National Capital on April 12, 2006. The awards will be given away by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The Awards, which will be an annual event, aims to be a platform which preserves the credibility of media reporting amongst the journalist fraternity by rewarding them for their courage and dedication towards their profession.
Speaking about the Awards, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Express Group, told exchange4media, “Journalists in India do not have any prominent and sizeable award. Except for some specialist awards, all other awards have been done away with. The Ramnath Goenka Awards will set the bar for Indian journalists.”
The Awards for Excellence in Journalism will honour journalists from both print and broadcast media who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting news accurately under dangerous or difficult circumstances.
Awards will be given in 20 categories, including the Ramnath Goenka Award of the Year in both print and television sphere. The Awards will felicitate a total of 32 persons involving total prize money of Rs 35 lakh. This makes it the first foundation in the country to apportion this value in prize money towards awards and scholarships in the field of journalism in a year.
Call for entries for the Awards were announced on April 18, 2005. “The overall response in terms of entries for the various categories have seen some interesting stories come in. Two levels of judging process have been completed in November and December 2005, and now the final judging by the prestigious jury is on,” a senior official from the Indian Express Group informed.
The awardees are being selected by an eminent panel which includes Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC; Fali S Nariman, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court; Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd; M S Swaminathan, M S Swaminathan Foundation, Chennai; Naresh Chandra, Ambassador of India to the US; N R Narayana Murthy, Chairman, Infosys Technology Ltd; marketing guru Rama Bijapurkar; Shobana Bhartia,Vice Chairperson, HT Media Ltd; and film director Shyam Benegal.