The 2018 Chameli Devi Jain is conferred on outstanding women mediapersons of the year.

Journalists Rohini Mohan Arfa Khanum Sherwani awarded Chameli Devi Jain awardRohini Mohan (L), Arfa Khanum Sherwani (R)
news Award Friday, March 13, 2020 - 16:33

Independent journalist Rohini Mohan and The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani were awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Mediaperson for the year 2019.

Instituted by the Media Foundation, the award has been given since 1982. Last year, it was awarded to Priyanka Dubey of BBC.

Rohini writes on human rights and politics in South Asia. She has significantly covered the National Register of Citizens (NRC) fallout in Assam, and has also won awards for her coverage of the Sri Lankan civil war. She is also the winnder of the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and Tata Literature Live! First Book Award (Nonfiction) for her book, The Seasons of Trouble on the Sri Lankan civil war.

Arfa is a senior editor at The Wire and hosts two video shows – Arfa Ka India and Hum Bhi Bharat. Having been subjected to a lot of abuse, vitriol, death and rape threats on Twitter after the BJP shared an edited clip of Arfa to show she was discussing a “strategy” for building an Islamic caliphate in India. This attempt to take her speech at Aligarh Muslim university out of context and spread misinformation against her was taken note of and CPJ urged BJP leaders to stop encouraging online bullying and harassment against her.

The criteria for the award were “excellence, analytical skill, social concern, insights, style, innovation, courage and compassion.”  

While the award function was supposed to be held on March 14, it has reportedly been put off in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Previous recipients of the award include Tavleen Singh, Neerja Chowdhury, Barkha Dutt, and Supriya Sharma, among others.

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