The International Press Institute (IPI)–India award for excellence in journalism 2012 was awarded to the English daily The Tribune on Thursday for its “outstanding journalistic work done in 2011”. An investigation by the daily’s Prabhjot Singh that exposed “the loot of Punjab’s public transport by politicians and bureaucrats” was selected for the award.
The awardees were selected by a distinguished jury of editors and publishers headed by former Chief Justice of India A. S. Anand. “The award was a great recognition of The Tribune ’s commitment to our nation,” he said, adding that journalists are pushing boundaries and setting new standards.
Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, who gave away the award, termed The Tribune “a regional paper with a national outlook” and said: “The management of The Tribune is a case study in balancing commercial considerations with real public service.”
Mr. Singh, who received the award, said he was humbled by the honour and felt the need to investigate the story as the public transport system was in doldrums and people had lost faith in it.
IPI-India Executive Board member N. Ravi, Director of Kasturi & Sons, said the awardees were chosen based on judicious assessments of issues. Referring to the growing sense of intolerance and protest over objectionable content in writings, films and works of art, he said: “This has had a chilling effect on free speech and is a cause for concern.” He also described criminal defamation laws and the Information Technology Act as problematic.