GUWAHATI, Oct 19 � �At a time when in-depth news reporting involving long-time research is gradually giving way to sensational breaking news stories that lack news value, the need for true investigative journalism is greatly being felt in society. In presenting news faster than others, we cannot compromise on the complete truth or accountability.�
Congratulating the winners of the Pabindra Nath Sarma and Kunjabala Devi Memorial Awards for investigative journalism, author, poet and journalist from Arunachal Pradesh, Mamang Dai, made these observations on the current status of journalism.
The Pabindra Nath Sarma Memorial Award for investigative reporting on human rights and Kunjabala Devi Memorial Award for investigative reporting on women�s issues for the year 2013 were given to Utpal Kumar Bhagawati of Guwahati and Gagan Kumar Nath of Sipajhar (Darrang) respectively.
The awards given in the memory of the late Pabindra Nath Sarma, freedom fighter and advocate, and his wife, carry a cash amount of Rs 30,000 each and a citation.
Speaking on the occasion, Dai said that awards for investigative journalism would encourage the scribes to go deeper into the stories to unearth the truth.
Bhagawati, a staff reporter with Dainik Janambhumi, won the award for his investigative report on the impact of fluoride and arsenic contamination of water in Akashiganga of Jamunamukh constituency while Nath, a correspondent of Asomiya Khabar won the award for his report on the life of Rongili Medhi of Darrang, who did not have any formal education but by sheer dint of perseverance got enrolled with the adult literacy programme and has now authored two books.
Both the awardees thanked the organisers for giving recognition to their works and encouraging them to further continue to highlight the plight and positive developments in society in an unbiased manner.
Senior advocate of the Gauhati High Court, Arup Borbora, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted the role of media with regard to human rights.
�Media has a very important role in disseminating information regarding violation of basic rights of any individual or group and also in generating awareness against the rights violation. True investigative journalism is that urge within the journalist to go that extra mile to find out the truth and do that bit of extra study to present it in a better way. It is not merely about rendering service to the media house where one works, but to render valuable service to mankind,� he added.
Earlier, convenor of the award committee PJ Baruah gave a brief history of the award function and introduced the awardees in his welcome speech.
Veteran journalist Dhirendra Nath Chakravartty presided over the function. President of the award committee and editor of The Assam Tribune, PG Baruah, was also present on the occasion.