The government is thinking of setting up annual National Awards for media, similar to the National Film Awards, to reward excellence in media and journalism, the ministry of information and broadcasting said in reply to a question in the Parliament.
“A National Media Awards scheme is being examined in the Ministry. Details will be provided as and when the same are finalized,” CM Jatua, junior minister for information and broadcasting told the Lok Sabha.
He was responding to a question about whether the government planned to “reward” journalists and other media persons showing “excellent performance” in their field.
The government already runs the National Film Awards — an annual event in which it awards films, film-makers, artists, technicians etc. based on the evaluations conducted by a panel appointed by the ministry.
The issue of awards and rewards to journalists, however, may be more controversial as the journalists also perform the duty of acting as checks and balances on the government.
The government already has a mechanism of conferring awards on journalists through a system of civilian awards. Among the journalists felicitated by the Padma awards are Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Dua and Barkha Dutt.
India currently has several awards for journalists, nearly all of which are handed out by associations or organizations within the industry.