The Sports Journalists' Federation of India is organising the inaugural Indian Sports Journalism Awards ceremony to recognise the best writings by Indian sports journalists. The awards function will be held in Mumbai on June 4, 2005.
Ramachandra Guha, the eminent sociologist, historian and writer, Michael Ferreira, former world amateur billiards champion, and Prof. Chandra Nayudu, daughter of legendary cricketer CK Nayudu, met at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai over three days and finalised a shortlist of 14 categories for the inaugural awards. There were close to 500 entries.
The shortlists for Hindi, Marathi and Bengali, photography, and television features will be announced in the next three weeks.
The contenders for the Indian Sports Writer of the Year award are Sharda Ugra, India Today's Senior Editor; Nirmal Shekar, Sports Editor of The Hindu; and Akshay Sawai, Prinicpal Correspondent of The Times of India. Shekar also figures in the 'News Story' and 'Tennis Writer' awards, while Ugra has also been shortlisted for `Feature Story' and 'Cricket Writer' categories. Sawai has been shortlisted for `Offbeat' and 'Tennis Writer' category.
Hindustan Times' Kadambari Murali has been shortlisted in the `News Story' and 'Cricket Writer' categories, while her colleague at HT, Dhiman Sarkar, figures in 'News Story' and 'Football Writer' categories. Anand Vasu of Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo has been shortlisted for 'Cricket Writer' and 'Interview' categories. Mid-Day Sports Editor Clayton Murzello figures in 'Offbeat' and 'Interview' categories. V Anand of The Times of India is in the running for the 'Offbeat' and 'Athletics' awards.
The Statesman's Elora Sen and Mario Rodrigues have been shortlisted for feature writing. PTI's Biju Babu Cyriac and Biswajit Brahma and AFP's Kuldip Lal are in the running for the 'Best of Agency' stories.
In a joint statement released recently, the judges said, "Indian sports journalism is certainly alive and well. The general standard was very good and it is a shame that only one person can be declared a winner. We enjoyed doing it, but found it difficult too. It's a farsighted view of SJFI to have incorporated awards for regional languages like Hindi, Marathi and Bengali."