Press Council of India Institutes Journalism Awards
The Press Council of India, whose chairperson Markandey Katju has been critical of journalists by and large, has now instituted its own 'National Awards for Excellence in Journalism'.

Among the categories under which the Press Council has instituted the awards are Raja Rammohan Roy National Award for Excellence in Journalism which would carry a cash component of Rs one lakh.

Other awards instituted by the Council related to Rural Journalism, Developmental Reporting and 'Stree Shakti' which contain a cash component of Rs 50,000 each.

"This will be the first time that PCI will be giving such awards. Its aim is to honour those journalists who have done outstanding work in the field of journalism," Press Council chairman Markandey Katju told PTI.

"Journalism is a noble vocation but unfortunately its importance has not been adequately understood by society. Without great journalists, people will not get the information they require to form rational opinions, which is a sine qua non for a democracy, "he added.

Katju also said India has produced great journalists like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Nikhil Chakraborty, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, and in more recent times P Sainath.

"By honouring and awarding outstanding journalists of today, we will give encouragement to all journalists to improve and serve the society," Katju said.

Katju has in the past attacked journalists saying a majority of them were of a low intellectual level.

The Press Council-instituted awards would be presented every year on the occasion of National Press Day, the Press Council said.

For excellence in Photo Journalism, the Council has instituted awards in the category of single News Picture and Photo Feature both carrying a cash component of Rs 50,000.

All Indian journalists, barring the sitting members of the Press Council, are eligible for the awards.
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