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Catholic media group awards investigative journalist

Dec. 9, 2013

The association of Indian Catholic journalists marked its golden jubilee on Sunday by honouring Josy Joseph, a senior journalist who six months ago won a prestigious award for his in-depth reporting. At the end of the associations' two-day golden Jubilee programs in Mumbai, the Indian Catholic Press Association awarded Joseph, a journalist working for the Times of India.

The association said Joseph won its Golden Jubilee Special Award "for his courageous stand as a fearless Catholic journalist, whose investigative stories have helped bring about policy changes, systematic correction and the overall betterment of India's governance."

Janet Lawrence D'Souza, the vice-president of the Maharashtra State Minority Commission, conferred the award on Joseph, saying it was a privilege for her to award Joseph. The citation said that the stories of Joseph have "resulted in several high profile officials resigning, many being arrested and have led to numerous federal and military investigations."

Accepting the award Joseph said he would consider awards as recognition for "good reports" rather than "investigative stories" and said investigative reporting is becoming easier in India as the country have more corrupt bureaucrats and politicians. He expressed the hope that society will change to have more positive stories in future.

"By the time you celebrate 100 years, I hope you will not have to award a muckraker like me, but will have someone who wrote some positive stories," Joseph said. Joseph won the prestigious Ramanath Goenka Excellence award in July this year when he was selected as the "Journalist of the Year."  Prem Bhatia Trust selected him as India’s best political reporter of 2011 for a series of investigative reports. He shared the award with Jyotirmoy Dey, a Mumbai journalist who specialized on Mumbai underworld and was shot dead on June 11, 2011 in Mumbai.

Joseph told the gathering his journalistic values come from the Bible and the Catholic upbringing he had in his family. Ms Janet D'Souza asked Catholic publications to devote more space to help community grow. The governments have several schemes to help minorities. "But not many Catholics are applying for them. Catholic periodicals should publicize such scheme she said.

The association also awarded several people at the function, including representatives of some publications that started the association in 1964. The award function preceded a convention, with the theme “Press and Nation Building—Challenges before Christian Journalists.”

 Source: UCAN

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