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People with other business interests tend to control media organisations, says Jaitley

MUMBAI: News media companies backed by corporates having varied business interests have a difficult time in maintaining editorial independence, said Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley.

Arun_Jaitley02“People involved in other businesses also tend to control media organisations.The editorial columns start reflecting the obvious conflict of different interests that they have,” Jaitley said, while delivering a keynote at Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.

According to Jaitley, media owners should learn from the late Ramnath Goenka who, despite having other business interests, never allowed it to influence his editorial policy.

Jaitley, who gave away awards to 57 journalists, recalled how Goenka had built a slew of real estate properties alongside media centres to support his newspaper.

“That was his model of keeping his newspaper a reasonable distance away from other business interests. That is probably what kept him going during the emergency,” he stated.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist, columnist and author Kuldip Nayar was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his far-reaching contribution to the field of journalism.

In the broadcast section, Uma Sudhir of NDTV 24×7 won the award in the Uncovering India Invisible category (2014) while Deepa Balakrishnan of CNN IBN won the award for Reporting on Politics and Government (2013). In her documentary, she exposed the link between mining and politics in Karnataka.

Radheshyam Bapu Yadav of The Times of India took home the Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism (2014). He reported on illegal buildings in Pune.

The environmental reporting award for 2014 went to Madhavi Tata of Outlook. She got recognised for her story on how the new Andhra Pradesh capital will destroy farming in Guntur.

Dipankar Ghose and VN Apurva from The Indian Express won the award for On-The-Spot reporting in 2013 for narrating the Muzaffarnagar communal violence.