Two Scroll.in journalists are among the winners of the 2015 Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.
M Rajshekhar won the award in the Reporting from J&K and the Northeast category for his work from Mizoram.
Nayantara Narayanan was named the winner in the On-the-spot Reporting category for her reports on the Tamil Nadu floods.
As part of Scroll.in's Ear to The Ground project, Rajshekhar spent nearly three months in Mizoram in early 2015, reporting on a range of processes shaping the state, from populist policies, weak state finances, shrinking funds for health programmes to crony capitalism. The last of these stories established political corruption in the state. It found that Lal Thanzara, the brother of the chief minister, held shares in a company that was getting road contracts from the state government. The story triggered a set of events that resulted in Lal Thanzara being forced to step down as cabinet minister and MLA.
In December 2015, Narayanan travelled to coastal Tamil Nadu which was reeling under severe floods. News coverage had been largely focused on Chennai even though many other districts were affected. Travelling through areas where highways were flooded and roads cut off, Nayantara filed a six-part series over patchy mobile and internet connectivity. Her reports highlight how relief efforts played out and sometimes failed on the ground. In Kanchipuram and Cuddalore, she reported on how entire villages had been cut off by physical and social barriers. Volunteers, who read Narayanan’s account about a Dalit settlement in Cuddalore left to fend for itself through 36 days of flooding, took relief material to the village within days of the story being published.
The awards were presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The award-winning stories were selected in 28 categories from print, broadcast and online journalism in English, Hindi and regional languages.