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Tolerance is in the blood of Indians: Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

MUMBAI: The much-awaited event in the personal calendar of journalists – the Mumbai Press Club’s RedInk Award for Excellence in Indian Journalism – 2017 were presented on Wednesday evening at a glittering awards night here at NCPA with veteran journalist Vinod Dua being conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Raj Kamal Jha the Journalist of the Year Award.

Raj Kamal Jha receiving the Journalist of the Year Award

Raj Kamal Jha receiving the Journalist of the Year Award

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was the chief guest for the RedInk awards night, said that he does not buy the argument that there is a threat to the fourth estate. “Constructive journalism always has its own value and at the same time we are open to criticism,” he said, narrating his own experience since he took over as the Chief Minister.  “Tolerance is in the blood of Indians…India traditionally had been a tolerant society,” he said, adding “Our democracy is very strong and it has survived turbulence in the past. The democratic system evolves and corrects itself.”

On this occasion, Mumbai Press Club felicitated Shri Devendra Fadnavis, who played a yeoman’s role in ensuring the passage of the state Journalist Protection Act.

The Lifetime Achievement Award has been bestowed on Vinod Dua for his extensive and versatile contribution to journalism in different formats and subjects. He was among the country’s first psephologists, co-anchoring election analysis programs alongside Dr Prannoy Roy on Doordarshan. Dua continues to be an active journalist today as Contributing Editor of The WireHindi.com and anchors a popular news show called ‘Jan Gan Man Ki Baat’ on the digital platform.

Accepting the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, veteran journalist Vinod Dua said: “It is not just an award….it is an honour to me.” He said that it has been noticed that journalists get too close with people in power and often behaving like that. “This is not something that is good,” he said, adding that journalists should also be content by what they are monetarily getting. Besides, one must do what journalists stand for.

The RedInk Award for the ‘Journalist of the Year’ 2017 given to Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor of the Indian Express, for providing exemplary stewardship over the last couple of years to the newspaper; and for providing focus and restoring what it has always been known best for – investigative journalism. Jha also led from the front to make Indian Express part of an international investigative team that cracked the global money laundering scam known as ‘The Panama Papers’.

“This award belongs to the Indian Express, the entire team,” said Raj Kamal Jha, the Chief Editor of Indian Express, who received the prestigious ‘Journalist of the year’ for the overall coverage of ”The Panama papers’.  He said that receiving the award on 7 June is unique for him as on 7 June, 1996, he had joined the Indian Express. “For us what is important is a good story…and sometimes when we see a good piece from a youngster, we feel that we could not have written it that way,” he said expressing hope that good journalism has a bright future.

Govind Tupe of ‘Sakal’ newspaper has been awarded the special RedInk award of ‘Mumbai’s Star Reporter’ – instituted for the first time this year – for helping empower civil society through hard work and dogged follow-ups. Donning the role of a journalist and a RTI activist, he forced the establishment to change its rules bringing all offices of cabinet ministers and ministers of state under the RTI umbrella of ‘public authorities’.

Apart from these, awards were also given in the 10 various categories.  This makes the RedInk awards the biggest in the country where journalists are awarded by the peers. “This year the RedInk team received more than 1,500 entries across categories – a significant jump from the previous year that shows the popularity, reach and credibility of the awards among the fraternity.

It was also an evening where much introspection was done in respect of the profession. The media debate of the evening was: ‘Turning the Searchlight Inwards: Why is the Credibility of News Media Today at its Nadir?’. With news media everywhere getting a lot of their predictions wrong – from Brexit to the US elections,  and to the vote in UP’s assembly poll; and with fake news and paid news becoming the talk of the town – it is about time journalists look at themselves in the mirror and fathom where they have gone wrong.

Veteran journalist Vir Sanghvi, former CM Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Senior Journalists Bachi Karkaria, NDTV’s Srinivasan Jain and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta debated the burning issue.

Star India is the Presenting Partner for Mumbai Press Club Redink Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2017, while Aditya Birla Group, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Zee Entertainment, Eros International, Indiabulls Housing, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, National Stock Exchange, Nanavati Hospital and JSW Steel are the Award Partners. The Hindu Group and Facebook are the media partners.

Winners of Redink Awards 2017


Print – Radhakrishnan Rariyam Kandath, Frontline

TV – Sreenivasan Jain, NDTV


Print – Nithyanand Rao & Virat Markandeya, The Wire

TV – Aamir Rafiq Peerzada, NDTV


Print – Ipsita Chakravarty & Rayan Naqash, Scroll.in

TV – Joint Winners, Abhisar Sharma, ABP News & Maya Mirchandani, NDTV


Print – Sarika Malhotra, Business Today

TV – Archana Shukla, CNBC TV 18


Winner – Ashish Sharma, Open Magazine

Runner Up – Kunal Pradeep Patil, Hindustan Times



Joint Winner  Tushar Dhara, Sanjay Sawant, Shraddha Ghatge & Neeradh Pandaripande, First Post

Raj Narain Mishra, Dainik Jagran

TV – Rajesh Kumar, India News


Print – Swaroop Swaminathan, The New Indian Express

TV – Joint Winner, Moumita Sen, India Today TV & Rajeev Mishra, India News


Print – Priyanka Vora, Scroll.in

TV – Archana Shukla, CNBC TV 18


Print – Alia Allana, Fountain Ink

TV – Atir Khan, India Today TV


Print – Kathakali Chanda, Forbes India

TV – Biju Pankaj, Mathrubhumi News



JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – Raj Kamal Jha, Indian Express


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