There is a palpable sense of shock among media folk that the 2011 Republic Day honours’ list contains no “working journalists” i.e. those still burning the phone lines and greasing the totempole in anticipation of the big day.
There are no awardees from the exalted world of television, with the honours going to old-world print veterans: the country’s first woman news photographer Homai Vyarawala and the editor-author-columnist T.J.S. George.
Worse, neither of the two awardees are residents of Lutyen’s Delhi or, horror, of the national capital region (NCR): Vyarawala is based in Baroda and George is in Bangalore.
From The Telegraph:
“Only one mediaperson, veteran T.J.S. George, made the cut to a Padma Bhushan despite the buzz that nearly a dozen were long-listed. Sources said the government was cautious about this category because at least a couple of former awardees figured in the Niira Radia tapes.”
From The Indian Express:
“The most conspicuous omission from the list are mediapersons. For the first time in several years, not a single journalist has been picked for any of the Padma Awards. It is not clear whether the decision was influenced by the controversy surrounding the Niira Radia tapes in which some prominent mediapersons have been revealed in bad light.”