Stories behind the stories


Reporting in Hindi (Print)

Atul Chaurasia, Tehelka

To report on the plight of villagers displaced by the spate of power plants in Sonbhadra in UP, Chaurasia had to trek miles through difficult terrain and wade through waters contaminated with chemicals dumped by big companies into the area's water bodies. But "the real challenge", he says, was to get people to talk. "Big corporates didn't say anything because they knew they were doing something wrong, and the villagers didn't comment because they were too scared," he says. In the end, Chaurasia didn't just tell the "real story" but also made waves. A copy of his story even reached Rahul Gandhi and helped many unskilled workers from Sonbhadra get jobs.

Reporting in Hindi (Broadcast)

Umashankar Singh, NDTV India

In 2009, there was a lot of noise in the media about the Taliban. These stories were based on YouTube videos and showed how little the media understood Afghanistan. In 2010, Singh and his cameraperson Narendra Gudavali were sent to Afghanistan for a better perspective on the country and its many stakeholders. From Kabul, they flew to Khost province in a helicopter that was transporting labourers to construct a road for US forces deep inside the province. This was risky because they were right in the Taliban's den. "The day we landed nearly 15 fidayeen bombers blew themselves up in Khost," he says. Singh's 22-minute documentary spoke about the life of the Afghan people and about how all development is seen as "consolidation of the US position in Afghanistan".

Regional Languages (Print)

Prajeshsen G, Madhyamam Daily

A small story tucked away in a Malayalam daily—of a little boy suspected to be the victim of faulty clinical trials—caught Prajeshsen's attention. Haunted by the story, he spent the next six months knocking doors of big pharmaceutical companies in major cities in the south of India to understand the why and how of clinical trials. "After my report, the High Court issued an order to stop clinical trials in Kerala. Later, the Supreme Court also banned all unethical clinical trials in the country while hearing a PIL about the same issue," says Prajeshsen.

... contd.

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