CHENNAI: The article titled 'Coalgate 2.0' authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazine in March last year has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018.
The final jury comprising Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Nilita Vachani and Dr A R Venkatachalapathy Friday unanimously decided on Nileena's work as the winner, says an ACJ release.
"The Jury arrived effortlessly at the unanimous decision that in the most impressive set of short-listed entries, one entry stood out. For its detailed, exhaustive and persuasive investigation and its clear exposition the 2018 Asian College of Journalism's Award for Investigative Journalism goes to Nileena M S for her article 'Coalgate 2.0' published in The Caravan. 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," said the jury citation.
The award, which comprises a trophy, a citation and Rs lakh 200,000/- cash prize , was presented to the winner by John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News, who was the chief guest at the journalism school's annual convocation ceremony.
Other stories that were considered as final nominations and have been awarded special mentions by the jury (in no particular order) are as follows: "The Chronicle of Crime Fiction That is Adityanath's Encounter Raj" authored by Neha Dixit and published by The Wire. "The Death of Judge Loya" written by Nikita Saxena for The Caravan magazine.
Nileena's story investigates the allotment of 'captive coal blocks' in Chhattisgarh's Parba East and Kanta Basan regions.
The article explores deforestation, re-locations of people, loss of livelihood, and denial of forest rights to tribals.
'Coalgate 2.0' is a sterling example of investigative journalism in the field of financial reporting,' said the release.