Indian Express, the paper that endeavors to follows its tagline ‘Journalism of Courage’, has been honored with the IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism 2006. The Award was given away at an event organised by the India Chapter of the International Press Institute held in the Capital on December 8.
Indian Express bagged the award for its investigative reporting on the Bihar flood scam and the case of missing tigers from Indian wildlife sanctuaries. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee gave away the Award to Varghese K George and Jay Mazumdar. The Award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a citation and a trophy.
The Award function was attended by several legal and political big wigs. A jury headed by A S Anand, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman of NHRC chose Indian Express for the Award. The paper had won the Award earlier in 2003 for its reporting on the Gujarat riots.
Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Express, said, “These Awards are special for us as print loyalists. It’s a vindication that stubbornness and persistence pays off.”
Justice Anand said, “I wish to congratulate Indian Express for winning the Award. The reports on the Bihar flood scam and the Missing Tigers are informative, objective and in great public interest. It is this type of high quality journalistic work, which brings to focus the role of the media. The Indian Express and its Editor-in-Chief, Shekhar Gupta, deserve praise for their in-depth and sensitive coverage of serious issues of societal importance.”
Speaking on the freedom of press, Anand said, “Freedom of speech and expression is the soul of democracy. Considering how important and potent the role of the press is, we rightly prize freedom of press and need to be vigilant in repelling encroachments, direct or indirect, on the exercise of this previous freedom. We need also to remember that freedom of press entails social responsibility and requires self regulation.”
Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, while talking about the impeccable credentials of the paper, said, “Media has a crucial role in strengthening the edifice of democracy and in ensuring good governance, which holds the key to the development of the nation. It speaks volumes of our democracy that the press, as The Indian Express has time and again shown, is playing a significant role in ensuring transparency and accountability in decision making processes.”