43 journalists feted at Ramnath Goenka Awards

Press must remain free, says Chief Justice Chandrachud at event

Ramnath Goenka Awards
Some of the winners of the Ramnath Goenka Awards. Photo courtesy: The Indian Express

A total of 43 winners of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards from 2019 and 2020 were honored at the 16th edition of the prestigious awards held in New Delhi on 23 March 2023. The awardees could not be feted earlier because of the pandemic, The Indian Express reported.

Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, was the chief guest at the event. As part of the centenary year celebrations of its founder, Ramnath Goenka, the Indian Express Group instituted the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards. The awards aim to celebrate excellence in journalism, recognize courage and commitment and showcase outstanding contributions and individuals every year.

The prize-winning stories revolved around the pandemic, including, overburdened health infrastructure, migrant exodus, the plight of frontline workers, unemployment, rumors, and unreported deaths. Other stories ranged from the aftermath of the Hathras gangrape case, cybersecurity, and climate change, to sexual harassment of athletes, among others.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Justice Chandrachud said the press must remain free if the country has to remain a democracy, adding fake news poses a serious threat to society.

I am tremendously impressed by the depth and breadth of the reportage that journalists in our country engage in. To those journalists who have not won today – you are no less a winner in the game of life for yours is a noble profession,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.

Speaking on law and journalism, he said, “Journalists and lawyers (or judges, as in my case) share some things in common. Of course, persons of both professions are fierce believers in the aphorism that the pen is mightier than the sword. But, they also share the occupational hazard of being disliked by virtue of their professions – no easy cross to bear. But members of both professions keep at their daily tasks and hope that one day, the reputations of their professions will receive a makeover.”

The full list of winners, courtesy The Indian Express:

WinnerCategoryMedia OrganizationStory
Anand ChoudharyHindi — Print (2019)Dainik BhaskarExploring the dark underbelly of Rajasthan’s villages in its three tribal districts, where children can be “bought” for just Rs 50-150
Sushil Kumar MohapatraHindi — Broadcast (2019)NDTV IndiaHow Haryana suddenly had the most cancer deaths in the country in 2017 even though it did not figure at the top in 2016
Jyoti Yadav & Bismee TaskinHindi — Print (2020)The PrintThe migrant exodus across rural Uttar Pradesh and Bihar; the dejection, the exhaustion, the hunger and more
Ashutosh MishraHindi — Broadcast (2020)Aaj TakBodies floating in the Ganga in May 2021; the scale, the specter of death and the apathy
Aniket Vasant SatheRegional Languages – Print (2019)Loksatta296 dams in urgent need of repairs in a state with the highest number of dams in India; the neglect, the apathy and the failure
Sunil BabyRegional Languages – Broadcast (2019)Media One TVJharkhand’s Jharia village that has been living over a subterranean fire burning for over a century; the trials, the tribulations and the danger
Sreelakshmi M, Rose Maria Vincent, Shabitha MKRegional Languages — Print (2020)Mathrubhumi.ComChildren’s safety in the virtual world during the lockdown; the concern, the predators and the victims
Shrikant BangaleRegional Languages – Broadcast (2020)BBC News MarathiThe rise, the fall and the rise of the ‘Masala Queen’ in a tiny Maharashtra village; the grit, the impact and the resurgence
Team PARIEnvironment, Sciences and Technology Reporting – Print (2019)People’s Archive of Rural IndiaRelentless, tenacious and unmatched coverage of the effects of climate change on farmers, pastoral communities, fisherfolk, nomadic communities, etc., across India
Team Scroll.inEnvironment, Sciences and Technology Reporting – Broadcast (2019)Scroll.inWomen agricultural labourers in Maharashtra learning sustainable agriculture techniques and becoming independent decision-makers
Manish MishraEnvironment, Sciences and Technology Reporting – Print (2020)Amar UjalaClimate change and its impact on farmers across the country; the loss and the suicides
Faye D’Souza & Arun RengaswamyEnvironment, Sciences and Technology Reporting – Broadcast (2020)Freemedia InteractiveFrontline workers dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak in Dharavi; the challenges, the fears and the motivation
Shiv Sahay SinghUncovering India Invisible – Print (2019)The HinduDigital exclusions in Jharkhand due to the state linking the public distribution system with Aadhaar cards
Tridip K MandalUncovering India Invisible – Broadcast (2019)TheQuint.com19 lakh “foreigners”, including his own family, as per the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam
TeamUncovering India Invisible – Print (2020)Thomson ReutersMigrant exodus, unemployment in villages and healthcare infrastructure buckling under the strain of record COVID-19 cases; the fear, the fortitude and the aftermath
Sanjay NandanUncovering India Invisible – Broadcast (2020)ABP NewsWhat goes into the making of a Naxal in India; the perspective, the lens and the voices
Sumant BanerjiBusiness and Economics – Print (2019)Business TodayThe unorganised sector responsible for the thousands of critical parts needed by India’s vibrant automobile industry
Ayushi JindalBusiness and Economics – Broadcast (2019)India Today TVComplicated economics of single-use plastic in the country; the issue, the pollution, and the humans
Omkar KhandekarBusiness and Economics – Print (2020)HT MintHow WhatsApp forwards nearly destroyed the Indian poultry industry during the pandemic; the rumours, the crisis and the fake news
Dheeraj MishraPolitics and Govt. – Print (2019)The WireCrores spent illegally on hotels, food and travel during parliamentary committee study tours; the violation, the misuse and the scrutiny
Seemi PashaPolitics and Govt. – Broadcast (2019)TheWire.inWorries and fears of Jamia Nagar residents after the police crackdown at Jamia Millia Islamia; the stereotyping, the discrimination, and the suspicion
Bipasha MukherjeaPolitics and Govt. – Broadcast (2020)India Today TVWhether the Popular Front of India was a punching bag or simply a tool to deviate public attention from real issues
Nihal KoshieSports – Print (2019)The Indian ExpressGroundbreaking interview with sprinter Dutee Chand in which she acknowledged publicly for the first time that she was in a same-sex relationship
Team NewsXSports – Broadcast (2019)NewsXVolleyball Federation of India’s corrupt practices irrevocably risking the future of the country’s third most popular sport and sportspersons
Mihir VasavdaSports – Print (2020)The Indian ExpressSexual harassment complaints made by athletes against their coaches; the data, the leniency and the investigations
Ajay SinghSports – Broadcast (2020)NDTV IndiaContractual coaches in UP making samosas, selling pakodas and working as labourers to make ends meet
Kaunain Sheriff MInvestigative Reporting – Print (2019)The Indian ExpressExposé on the miscarriage of justice in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots, where men accused of murder, gang rape and rioting walked free
S Mahesh KumarInvestigative Reporting – Broadcast (2019)Manorama NewsGold smuggling from Nepal into India, which led to the discovery of gold being smuggled through Trivandrum airport in a diplomatic pouch
Tanushree PandeyInvestigative Reporting – Print (2020)India TodayCcoverage of the forcible cremation of the Hathras gang-rape victim; the threats, the witch-hunt and the quest for justice
Milan SharmaInvestigative Reporting – Broadcast (2020)India Today TVMismatch in the Covid-19 toll released by the Centre and the figures provided by states; the reality, the underreporting and the impact
Tora AgarwalaReporting on Arts, Culture & Entertainment – Print (2020)The Indian ExpressDiggers’ scouring the hills of Manipur to look for remains of soldiers who died in World War II; the request, the poignancy and the closure
Chaitanya MarpakwarCivic Journalism – Print (2019)Mumbai MirrorCoverage of the ‘Save Aarey’ campaign against the hacking of 3,000 trees in Mumbai to construct a car shed for the metro project
Shaikh Atikh Rashid


Civic Journalism – Print (2020)The Indian ExpressReality of the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme in Marathwada and Pune city
Zishaan A LatifPhoto Journalism – Print (2019)The CaravanDocumenting the people’s struggle for inclusion in Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) list
Tarun RawatPhoto Journalism – Print (2020)The Times of IndiaPhotograph of the juvenile who shot at Jamia students protesting peacefully against CAA on January 30, 2020
Arun Mohan SukumarBooks (Non-Fiction) – Print (2019)Penguin Random HouseMidnight’s Machines
Tripurdaman SinghBooks – Print (2020)Penguin Random House IndiaSixteen Stormy Days
Joanna SlaterForeign Correspondent Covering India – Print (2020)The Washington PostIndelible portrait about what life was like when India’s over 1.3 billion citizens went into strict lockdown; the stories of exodus, hardship and solidarity



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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