The 2010 Chameli Devi Jain award for “Outstanding Woman Media Person” was presented to a former Tehelka correspondent from Thiruvananthapuram, Shahina K.K, at a function here on Tuesday for her “demonstrated ability to focus on issues that have deep social consequences impacting lives and concerns of ordinary people.”

Ms. Shahina, who has 13 years of experience in print and television media and is presently writing for Open magazine, accepted the award after thanking the jury which comprised broadcast personality Jai Chandiram, the former Director-General Doordarshan and founder-Director of Lok Sabha TV, Bhaskar Ghose, and distinguished sociologist Dipankar Gupta.

Accepting the award, Ms. Shahina said: “In this era of paid news, I believe it is important to speak for those who live in the margins, who are not able to pay. I have always tried to give visibility to those who are invisible. This award espouses my efforts and gives me support and assurance in my way ahead.”

Referring to the ongoing court case against her following her reportage related to the Bangalore blast case, Ms. Shahina said: “The case against me is a warning to the media not to attempt to challenge the State. If you dare to do it, they will use draconian laws against you. If you belong to the minority community, they will also profile you. It is very difficult to prove that you are not a terrorist. It is equally difficult to prove that you are not a Maoist in our life and times.

“This award is very special to me in the current circumstances. I consider this as a public statement on my credentials as a bona fide journalist, which indeed is very crucial for me in this time of chaos.”

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