Journalist Nileena MS, whose story titled “Coalgate 2.0” published in The Caravan magazine, won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism 2018.
The award is given by the Asian College of Journalism with the support of the Media Development Foundation “to recognise and encourage the best works of investigative journalism produced for Indian readers, viewers and audiences in order to promote journalism in the public interest”. The award comprises a trophy, a citation and Rs 2 lakh prize money.
“Coalgate 2.0 is a sterling example of investigative journalism in the field of financial reporting,” the jury’s citation read. “The piece meets the criteria of what comprises a solid work of investigative journalism, combining extensive research uncovering new evidence to reveal a truth, hitherto unknown to most, and of essential public interest.”
The jury comprising former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, journalist Nilita Vachani and historian and author AR Venkatachalapathy unanimously decided on Nileena’s work. The story was published in the March 2018 issue of The Caravan.
“Coalgate 2.0” investigates the allotment of “captive coal blocks” in Chhattisgarh to the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam in a joint venture with a subsidiary of the Adani Group despite a landmark Supreme Court judgement from September 2014. The court had cancelled permissions for captive mining of coal blocks and was considered to have put a halt on the Coalgate scam.
The jury awarded special mentions to “The Chronicle of Crime Fiction That is Adityanath’s Encounter Raj” written by Neha Dixit and published in The Wire and “The Death of Judge Loya” written by Nikita Saxena for The Caravan magazine.
John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, presented the award to the winner on Friday, during the journalism school’s annual convocation ceremony.