India’s Goenka Awards Honor IJ Reports

India's most prestigious journalism award honored an impressive set of watchdog reporting this week. Sponsored by The Indian Express, the annual Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism prizes awarded stories on a tax scam and payoffs, shoddy government construction, India's notorious sand mafia, and caste discrimination, among 28 winners in 18 categories.

Source: Indian Express

Posted on: January 6, 2019

India Sting Bares Papers on the Take

GIJN member Cobrapost has the biggest story in India but the Indian press is all but silent about it. The reason? Cobrapost ran a sting operation exposing widespread readiness by major media to accept payoffs for stories biased toward the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Hindu nationalism. Cobrapost dubbed the story "Operation 136" -- a reference to India's poor ranking in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Source: BBC News, Cobrapost

Posted on: June 1, 2018

Indian Trolls Threaten Life of Rana Ayyub

Online threats to award-winning Indian journalist Rana Ayyub have reached a dangerous level. In recent days she has been targeted with fake tweets falsely saying she has defended child rapists and said that Muslims are not safe in India. "Her face has been morphed in videos and content calling for her to be gang-raped 'if she didn’t stop talking against Hindus and [Narendra] Modi,'" according to the International Women's Media Foundation. And her address and personal phone number have been made public, opening the way for the cyber-attacks to become physical ones.

Source: International Women's Media Foundation

Posted on: April 27, 2018

3 Indian Journalists Run Over, Killed

In the latest deaths to shake the Indian press, three journalists were killed by vehicles this week, in what their families and human rights groups say are acts of murder. The attacks underscore how India has become one of the world's most dangerous places to be a journalist, particularly for the non-English press and outside the largest cities. One reporter, Sandeep Sharma in Madhya Pradesh state, had recently exposed bribery of a senior police officer as part of illicit sand mining. Violent "sand mafias" are tied to control over sand use, which has tripled in recent years with India's construction boom.

Source: Guardian

Posted on: March 30, 2018

India Firm To Pay for 1,000 FOI Requests

The founder of Indian e-commerce firm Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharmahas agreed to sponsor 1,000 Right to Information requests for filed in the public interest and by poor people. The cost to file a request at an online platform ranges from US $1.50 to $3.00. India's RTI law is widely used and considered a success story. "People have been truly empowered by using this tool," Sharma said.

Source: Economic Times

Posted on: December 18, 2015

Big Business Tries To Muzzle Indian Journalism

Legal actions are increasingly being used by large corporations to threaten the media into silence in India, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists. The country's outdated media laws include both criminal and civil libel statutes, and they are being abused by powerful companies and individuals.

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

Posted on: October 9, 2014