Winners of the first ever M S Oberoi Gold Awards, instituted by the NGO Transparency International India, have been announced. Transparency International India, which is committed to combating corruption with support from the Oberoi Group, has instituted these awards to reward journalists for outstanding stories exposing corruption in India.
The Gold Award winners were Varghese K George of the Indian Express and Rohit Khanna of CNN-IBN (Special Investigation Team). The Silver Awards were shared by M L Narsimha Reddy of the Telugu daily Eenadu and Samudra Gupta Kashyap of the Indian Express in the Print category, and Saurabh Shukla of Aaj Tak and Sidhartha Gautam of CNN-IBN in the Electronic category.
The Gold award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a medallion and citation, while the Silver Award carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000, a medallion and citation.
The jury comprised personalities from the fields of journalism, law and industry, which included B G Verghese, Columnist and Author, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative; social worker and writer, Harsh Mander; Justice Leila Seth; marketer Vinod K Bakshi; and Arun Duggal, Vice Chairman, Transparency International India.
P R S Oberoi, Chairman, The Oberoi Group, said, “Journalists, who often at substantial personal risk, investigate and expose corrupt practices, deserve applause, recognition and encouragement. The Rai Bahadur M S Oberoi Media Awards are an effort to demonstrate our admiration for these compelling tales of courage, character and integrity. I would like to congratulate the winners for their exemplary zeal, which if relentlessly pursued by all of us, has the potential of making India a better place to live in and do business with.”
Speaking on behalf of the Jury, B G Verghese, Chairperson, said, “While shortlisting the entries and selecting the winners, the jury has given weightage to stories that have direct and significant effect on development, progress, human rights violation or public interest. Also, the impact and significance of such disclosures and the risks and challenges countered by the journalist in breaking the story were among the factors taken into consideration in making the final decision.”