The International Press Institute (IPI) is a global organization comprised of members in more than 120 countries. Its main mission is the promotion and protection of press freedom and the improvement of journalistic practices.
Each year, the IPI of India gives an award for excellence in journalism; For 2011, the distinguished jury of editors and publishers of the IPI of India (led by A.S. Anand, former Chief Justice of India, serving as head of jury) has chosen The Tehelka and The Week as worthy recipients. Each was given this award for their brilliant reporting in 2010.
The IPI announced that The Tehelka, which refers to itself as India’s Weekly News Magazine, was chosen due to a six-week investigation about the Sree Rame Sene in Karnatake, which brought to light their use of “rent a riot” tactics. It reported the right-wing Hindu extremist group had been collecting money to organize attacks on innocent persons and institutions. A Tehelka journalist, posing as an artist, found evidence that the leadership of the Sree Rama Sene was accepting money to instigate mobs, attacks, and riots.
The Week, another Indian Magazine, was also honored with the IPI India award of Excellence due to an investigation led by Gunjan Sharma. Sharma discovered students had been receiving degrees by sham medical and dental colleges. These colleges had neither doctors, patients, nor facilities, yet awarded bogus dental and medical degrees to thousands of students throughout the nation.
Both magazines’ investigative and reporting skills uncovered groundbreaking stories. By choosing magazines that are not afraid to go to such lengths to uncover and expose the truth, the IPI reaffirmed its mission to promote and protect freedom of the press and the improvement of journalistic practices.
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