Journalism Journalism faces great challenges from inside and outside: Dayal

Journalism faces great challenges from inside and outside: Dayal

New Delhi, Nov 3, 2022: Journalism now faces great challenges from inside the profession and outside, says veteran journalist John Dayal, after he was selected for a prestigious award by the national association of Catholic journalists in India.

The Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) has also chosen a grassroots Jesuit activist and a Holy Spirit nun, besides Dayal, for its annual awards this year.

The award was announced November 2 by the association’s president Ignatius Gonsalves and secretary Capuchin Father Suresh Mathew.

John Dayal, who is also a writer and human rights activist, was selected for the Louis Careno Award for Excellence in Journalism for his bold, continuous and consistent writing against communalism and fundamentalism gaining ground globally.

The award citation hails Dayal as “a prophet of our times” who is among India’s foremost voices against human rights violations, particularly on the persecution of religious minorities.

“He has been a member of several government bodies, including the National Integration Council, and holds senior roles in numerous non-government organizations and networks, including as co-founder and secretary general of the All India Christian Council, 1999-2014, national president of the 1919-founded all India Catholic Union between 2004 and 2008, and a member of Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference,” the association noted.

Sister Ganga Rawat, based in the central Indian city of Indore, has been chosen for the Swami Devanand Chakkungal award for Hindi Literature, which was set up by the association and sponsored by the Indore province of the Society of the Divine Word.

The association said Sister Rawat has used the pen to make the Word of God known to the Hindi readers. “She regularly writes articles and poems on social issues particularly women, girl child, family, values, etc. which are published in various magazines and newspapers,” it adds.

The ICPA has also selected Father Irudhaya Jothi, a human rights activist and journalist for more than a decade, for the best reportage on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The award is sponsored by the Office for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

The award citation hails Father Jothi as an authentic and consistent voice of people’s rights, “especially the poor Dalits who are susceptible to exploitation and injustice.”

The awards will be conferred on the three on December 10 during the 27th National Convention of Christian Journalists, organized by the ICPA.

Welcoming the award, Dayal says it reflects the warmth of colleagues and comrades engaged in the same work. “That’s what one cherished. And it is humbling,” he told Matters India on November 2.

“For me the award had meaning because the profession faces great challenges from outside and from inside,” he said.

He laments that reporters now have to work in a landscape where fake news is promoted, young journalists are arrested and rightwing trolls call truth tellers antinational.

“It is not surprising so few are writing about the human condition. And even fewer are writing about religious minorities and Dalits,” Dayal added.

Sister Rawat thanked God for her recognition. “May it be for the glory of God,” she told Matters India. She says she loves “writing and it is my passion. Through my small contributions and writing if someone can be inspired then I believe God is at work,” she added.

Father Jothi is also delighted to be honored in journalism. “I am a grassroots worker focused on the empowerment of SC/ST, Migrants and Refugees as my ‘Optioned’ group,” he says.

The ‘optioned’ people, he added, “are continuously being exploited, kept as vulnerable, and powerless and are forced mute vote bank and this honor affirms my stand and encourages me to be their voice always,” he told Matters India.

Father Jothi thanked Matters India for making a journalist. “I was encouraged to share their joys and struggles, agonies, aspirations and hopes through stories for a wider readership,” he explained.

This article published here

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