The Hindu’s Islamabad correspondent, Nirupama Subramanian (in picture), has shared the Chameli Devi Jain award for excellence in journalism with Vinita Deshmukh, the editor of The Weekly Intelligent, Poona.
In her acceptance speech, read out in her absence by her sister Vasudha Sondhi, Subramanian said:
“In Pakistan, where I am based, a number of journalists have lost their lives in recent months. For me, reading about journalists getting killed back home, three in Assam in the last four months, is a reminder that despite our democracy, our freedoms are as fragile as they are in our less stable neighbourhood.
“On the other hand, I also saw the power and influence of the media in a frightening close-up a few months ago, when tensions between India and Pakistan climbed a peak after the attacks in Mumbai…I believe there is only one way for journalists to look at India-Pakistan relations, and that is through the prism of peace…”
Colombo correspondent of The Hindu before her Islamabad posting, Nirupama Subramanian is the author of the critically acclaimed Sri Lanka Voice from a War Zone, and is a winner of the Prem Bhatia award for best political reporting.
Photograph: courtesy The Hindu
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The piece to camera, or P2C, is a vital item on the curriculum vitae of television journalists. It is a correspondent’s signature on a news story, and like with all signatures, they range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
K.R. BALASUBRAMANYAM forwards a Pakistani TV journalist’s hilarious bid to record a P2C before a train pulls out of the railway station, carrying Id revellers back home.
Death is a pretty grim business in Asian media. Unlike in Britain, where obituaries have been turned into a juicy art form, Asian tributes generally play it safe, spiking all the spice out of a false sense of deference. Last night, however, Karan Thapar, India’s premier television interviewer, who cut his teeth on Channel 4, was different.
Thapar was an old friend of Benazir Bhutto, the slain former prime minister of Pakistan. They had known each other since their days at Cambridge and Oxford, respectively, and Benazir had tried to get him remarried (unsuccessfully) for 18 years after his wife Nisha died of cancer.
Thapar says he spoke to her just four days and had asked her to “stay safe”.
Thapar says Bhutto also had a fine sense of humour. At one Oxbridge debate on “sex before marriage”, Thapar recalls that he rang the bell and asked her if she dared to practice what she preached. The hall went up in laughter. And after the last laugh had been heard, Benazir pulled out her spectacles, screwed her eyes, look at her future interlocutor, and said: “Certainly, but not with you.”