Hyderabad: Indian journalism is in danger of losing its soul, said senior journalist Palagummi Sainath, adding that the Indian media was politically free but imprisoned by profit.
“They have structurally shut out the poor and that’s why even after 20 years we are still unable to exert pressure on them to highlight the present agrarian crisis in India. They have simply shut out the poor people,” he said.
Speaking at the Arun Sagar Best Journalists Award-2017 function here on Tuesday, Sainath lamented that journalism in the country was in a crisis. “Corporates are dominating the media agenda and in recent times we are also witnessing assassination of journalists in India,” he said.
The well-known journalist pointed out that of the 42 journalists who were murdered in India between 1992 and 2016, at least 25 deaths had proved that they died because of their journalism.
Sainath regarded the murder of Gauri Lankesh as a turning point of journalism in India. For the first time in the country, a high profile English journalist like Ms Lankesh was killed, the reason being that she was a rationalist, he said.
Goreti Venkanna received the Arun Sagar literature award, while in print media, first, second and third Arun Sagar best journalist awards were presented to V Krishna (Namaste Telangana), Shiva Ramakrishnaiah (Nava Telangana) and K Narendrachari (Sakshi) and K Nageshwar Rao (Andhra Jyothi) .
In electronic media, the three top awards were given to Yaajulu (Sakshi TV), Narendrachari (HMTV) and Manikeshwar (ETV). Ministers Harish Rao, Thummala Nageshwar Rao, MP Balka Suman, Namaste Telangana Editor Katta Shekar Reddy, Andhra Jyothi Editor K Srinivas, Sakshi Editor Ramachandra Murthy and others were present.