Former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna has called for preserving the independence of journalists to ensure smooth functioning of democracy in the country.
If journalism as a profession falters, democracy will collapse, Justice Srikrishna said Friday night after presenting the RedInk awards for excellence in journalism, instituted by the Mumbai Press Club.
Speak the truth to the powers that be,” he said. “Two professions have to be necessarily independent, a judge and a journalist. If they falter, democracy collapses, he added.
Justice Srikrishna said a journalist who loses his independence is as bad as a judge who has lost his independence.
Remember, you are in a profession where honesty is really the best policy, said the noted jurist, who headed the Srikrishna Commission that investigated causes and apportioned blame for the Mumbai riots of 199293.
We all know about the four pillars of democracy: judiciary, legislature executive and the press or the fourth estate. If the first three cozy up, it is the duty of the fourth estate to take them to task, he said.
Justice Srikrishna spoke on the misuse of investigative. People spoke of threats from ED, CBI, surveillance, cutting off revenue to see that businesses collapse, he said.
Senior journalist TJS George was presented the RedInk Award for lifetime achievement for his distinguished career as an editor and columnist.
In the 1960s, George (94) was the editor of the Patna-headquartered newspaper ‘The Searchlight’ known for its anti-establishment stand.
The Press Club’s ‘Journalist of the Year’ Award for 2021 was given to Om Gaur, National Editor of ‘Dainik Bhaskar’ for leading a team of reporters and photographers that “tirelessly exposed the tragedy of Covid deaths in UP’s towns and cities along the river Ganga.
In his acceptance speech, Gaur said he was receiving the award on behalf of his colleagues who made the coverage possible.
The awards, along with 24 other winners in 12 categories, were presented at NCPA auditorium in south Mumbai.
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