Journalist Aarefa Johari Wins Chameli Devi Jain Award

It’s a journalist’s privilege to help society demand justice

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Aarefa Johri Scroll |Journalist Aarefa Johari Wins Chameli Devi Jain Award
Outspoken journalist Aarefa Johri wins the Chameli Devi Jain Award Photo Scroll

On 3 April 2022, journalist Aarefa Johari was named the winner of the Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Mediaperson for 2021by the Media Foundation. Johari, who reports for The Scroll www.scroll.in from Mumbai was recognized for her combination of meticulous reportage, humanism and empathy. ‘all reflecting a high order of journalistic excellence.’

Instituted in 1982, the annual Chameli Devi Jain Award is a prestigious recognition for women mediapersons in India who have reported on themes such as social development, politics, equity, gender justice, health, war and conflict, and consumer values. The award was to be presented at the India International Centre in Delhi on the 4th of April 2022.

The winner was decided by a three-member jury, comprising Nirupama Subramanian from the Indian Express, writer Githa Hariharan and Ashutosh from SatyaHindi. The jury praised Johari’s meticulousness, and empathy with her subjects which ‘reflected a high order of journalistic excellence.’ Harish Khare, chair of the Media Foundation, added that Johari’s ground-level reportage was an outstanding example of a journalist’s every day privilege to help society demand fairness and justness.

Nearly 50 journalists from print, digital and broadcast media from all over India sent entries for the award, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a freedom fighter and a community reformer who went to jail during the Indian freedom movement.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

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