"Democracy is meaningful" only if its "citizens are well informed...Truth is the only compass for good journalism, " said President Ram Nath Kovind as he gave away the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in New Delhi .
Delivering the address at the 14th edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in New Delhi, the President said, "The quest for truth is, of course, difficult and easier said than done. But it must be pursued. A democracy like ours deeply relies on the uncovering of facts and a willingness to debate."
At the ceremony, awards were presented to 23 winners in 11 categories — across print, broadcast and purely-digital — for outstanding work done in 2018.
In his welcome address, Viveck Goenka, chairman of the Express Group, said ,"We couldn't have had a chief guest who better encapsulates the values we celebrate this evening".
Speaking about the winners, he said that "these stories also ask questions of fairness and empathy they take neither a no nor a yes for an answer" and search for what lies in between. He added that "they are firm in their resolve to embrace complexity, not reduce the story to either pro this or anti that... these stories tell us why journalism matters"
Anant Goenka, executive director of the Express Group, presented Kovind with a portrait.
Among those present at the awards ceremony were Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi, former ABVP national organising secretary Sunil Ambedkar, Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati, Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, eminent jurist Fali Nariman and D Raja, CPI General Secretary.
The Express Group instituted the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2005 as part of the centenary year celebrations of its founder, Ramnath Goenka. The awards aim to celebrate excellence in journalism, recognise courage and commitment and showcase the outstanding contributions of journalists from across the country.
This time, the winning entries covered a wide range of topics a series on sexual abuse children in villages, to children making through a river and walking over a 20-foot pipeline to go to school, and from how uranium mining affects local communities to an investigation into faulty medical implants.
(We got this information in a press release.)