Two stories published in Mint Lounge last year have won the Mumbai Press Club’s prestigious Red Ink Awards 2021. Former Mint National Writer Asmita Bakshi’s report, The March of Women Farmers, published in October 2020, won in the category Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (Print).
Freelance culture journalist Majid Maqbool won the award in the Arts category for his report titled Masood Hussain is painting the grief and anger of the Kashmiri people, published in Mint Lounge in October 2020. He shares the award for the Arts category with The Wire’s Mahtab Alam.
Announced on 29 December 2021, the National Red Ink Awards for Excellence in Journalism, presented by the Mumbai Press Club, recognise and promote “best practices among journalists and encourage good quality writing, fair play, and high ethical standards”, according to its website. The awards, now in its 10th year, are presented across 12 categories to journalists working in print, television and digital media. Winners receive a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh, a trophy, and a citation. Find the full list of winners here.
Bakshi, who worked with Mint Lounge till February 2021, received the award for her narrative, long-form report on the country’s women farmers, fighting to be seen and heard, get a share in land or government benefits and find space in policy documents. The face of the farming community tends to be male, and this report explore the role of women in these communities against the backdrop of the farmer protests, which began in 2020.
Maqbool’s prize-winning entry is a profile of Kashmiri artist Masood Hussain, whose work is a testimony to the violent past and present of the valley. Over the past few decades, the 66-year-old artist has captured what it means to live under constant lockdowns, and has exhibited his mixed media works across the world, though he himself has rarely travelled to see his shows.
At the virtual ceremony, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, who delivered the keynote address, said, “News mixed with views is a dangerous cocktail… Interpretation and opinions are colouring what should be factual reports… media professionals will have to come forward with solutions for such a menace.”
Six stories published by Mint Lounge during the course of 2020 were shortlisted for the awards, across different categories, including Environment, and Science and Innovation.