The highlight of the Sunday's function where six photojournalists received the first T.S. Satyan Memorial Award was the slideshow presentations that showcased their work. Each unique in style, they presented a slice of history, politics and society in the State.
While some photographs were high in news value, such as the ones of national leaders visiting the State or in talks with iconic regional leaders, others captured the lighter or weightier shades of rural India. The awards, jointly instituted by Karnataka Photo News (KPN) and web portal churumuri.com in memory of the eminent photojournalist T.S. Satyan, were given away by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at the Raj Bhavan.
The award for the best newspaper photojournalist was bagged by Chief Photographer of The Hindu , Bangalore, K. Gopinathan while Mangalore-based photojournalist Yagna got the lifetime achievement award. Netra Raju of The Times of India , Mysore, won the best professional photojournalist award, Bhanu Prakash Chandra of The Week , Bangalore, got the best magazine photojournalist award, ‘Regret' Iyer of Bangalore got the best freelance photographer award and M.S. Gopal of Mumbai got the best online photographer award.
Mr. Bhardwaj spoke at length about his relationship with the media, the old-time stalwarts in particular. He also remarked that he believed in “keeping the lines of communication open”, and did not subscribe to traditional ideas of what a Governor should or should not do with the media.
He spoke of corruption in the judiciary and the legislature, and pointed out that post the Niira Radia tapes, serious aspersions were being cast at certain senior journalists. Later, on the controversial issue of implementation of the recommendations made by the journalists' wage board (now pending in Supreme Court) he said he was “on the side of reporters”, who, he felt, must be paid better.
‘Ideal human being'
Columnist T.J.S. George congratulated the photographers, and spoke about the legacy of Satyan, who, he said, was “not only an ideal photographer, an ideal journalist but also an ideal human being.”
He reminisced about the transition from the time when news photographs were only about “politicians with a microphone” to a trend where pictures on page one truly began to capture the essence of “real life”.
K.N. Shanth Kumar, editor of Prajavani , said that photojournalism was a combination of the art of photography and the discipline of journalism. He also spoke of the “emerging trends” in advanced countries where user-generated content — high-quality images taken by citizen photojournalists — was being used by mainstream media.
Mr. Gopinathan said every day was a learning experience for photojournalists. He said that photojournalists tend to be selfless in their pursuit of the perfect picture, and take immense risks in their line of duty.