We are delighted to note that Mint’s Priyanka Narain has been named the Young Journalist of the Year for 2007 by CNN for her series of articles on the Sethusamudram project.
The CNN Young Journalist Award began in 2003 and aims to recognize journalistic talent across India and Pakistan, and to promote quality journalism. The award was chosen by a jury of 26 veteran Indian and Pakistani journalists.
Well before Sethusamudram shot into limelight in Indian media toward end-September, Priyanka’s first piece in July presciently described it as a symbol for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which threatened another Ayodhya to save the bridge that they believe Ram built. It ran on Mint’s front page and was quickly followed up with political analysis on the bridge’s significance to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chances for re-election and the role of Ram in South India.
In September, Priyanka authored a four-part series on the environmental and economic implications of the Sethusamudram project. That, along with a follow-up on the budget far exceeding projections and loans unlikely to be honoured, have forced government officials to answer questions—and demand them—on the Rs2,600 crore project.
Priyanka’s reporting and writing took the bridge out of religious rhetoric and peeled back layers to report from different angles such as environmental and economic issues.
The CNN Award follows Mint columnist Amit Varma winning the 2007 Bastiat Prize For Journalism in October, one of the most prestigious international journalism prizes for editorial writing, for his Thursday column Thinking It Through.
The success of Mint, which we started 11 months ago with a simple promise to all of you that it will be a “clear-minded chronicler of the Indian dream”, rests on work such as our Sethusamudram coverage. Thank you for making us part of your daily reading.