By Hossain Malik

[Chale Archipelago, Kenya] The Indian Ocean Observatory (IOO) will be marking its third anniversary  this coming September. In the run-up for this anniversary a number of events are being planned. However some good news overshadowed all of the anniversary plans.

The overwhelming news which was a delight to the IOO family came when our editor Wanjohi Kabukuru who hails from Kenya was awarded one of the world's most prestigious journalism awards. India’s President Pranab Mukherjee presented Wanjohi with the KC Kulish International Award for Excellence in Journalism'.   is awarded in  memory of the founder of Rajasthan Patrika, Karpoor Chandra Kulish, at a grand ceremony in Mavlankar Auditorium at Delhi's Constitution Club. 

India’s  President Pranab Mukherjee awards IOO Editor, Wanjohi Kabukuru with the prestigious KC Kulish Medal [Image: Rajasthan Patrika]

The KC Kulish International Award for Excellence in Journalism'   is awarded in  memory of the founder of Rajasthan Patrika, Karpoor Chandra Kulish, one of India’s finest journalists and media mavens. 

The award recognizes best of works in journalism and all the entries are judged by an independent jury. This annual award commemorates high ideals of Sh. Karpoor Chandra Kulish, the founder of Rajasthan Patrika newspaper which is amongst the top newspapers in India by recognizing outstanding efforts of journalists working in daily newspapers globally on the basis of quality of content, research, team work, investigation and impact.

The award was presented at a grand ceremony in the high-end Mavlankar Auditorium at Delhi's Constitution Club.

During the ceremony, President Mukherjee reiterated the positive influence of public interest journalism. “A good editorial, a good investigative story, a comment on social issues have permanent impact on the minds of the readers.”

IOO Editor Wanjohi Kabukuru after being presented with the KC Kulish Medal and Certificate by the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Rajasthan Patrika’s publisher, Gulab Kothari (far right). 

Established in 2007 the 'KC Kulish International Award for Excellence in Journalism' is aimed at promoting the best works of journalists across the globe and is one of the the world's largest journalism awards. 

Rajasthan Patrika’s Chief Editor Gulab Kothari who was among the KC Kulish awards judging panel also spoke during the glitzy awards ceremony and noted that journalism is increasingly coming under pressure. “Today, at a time when opposition is increasingly becoming mute in the face of political power, the media too seems to be sacrificing its independence.” Kothari says. “In such times, it is of paramount importance that we put our journalistic duties ahead of financial considerations always”.

Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam presented the inaugural awards in 2007, to a team of Hindustan Times and Pakistan's Dawn newspaper. In the year 2008, the then Hindustan Times team was rewarded by the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh graced the third award function in Delhi and BL Joshi, Governor, Uttah Pradesh  was Guest of Honour at the ceremony.

The Kulish medal [Image: Rajasthan Patrika]

The Fouth, fifth and sixth of KCK award were conferred by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan at a glittering ceremony in Jaipur.

“This recognition has boosted our morale and bolstered our ratings. To this end we are granting our newsroom more leeway and expanding its mandate thanks for the astute leadership of our editor.” Harry Razafindsionana , IOO-Head of Administration says. “In the next few weeks we will be sharing with you more of our revamped newsroom and the new exciting projects which we are undertaking in the western Indian Ocean.”