Journalist Aarefa Johari Wins Chameli Devi Jain Award

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

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 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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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