Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) has announced its annual Journalism Awards for 2014.  ICPA Awards are conferred every year on Christian journalists for their outstanding contributions to different fields of journalism.   Each of these national-level awards consists of Rs 10,000/- in cash, and a Citation. The prestigious awards in different categories are conferred on the recipients at the National Convention of Christian Journalists, held annually. This year, Thozhamai Illam, the Jesuit Retreat Centre, Kanya Kumari, will be the venue of the 2-day national convention scheduled to be held on 24th and 25th, October 2014. Most Rev. George Rajendran, sdb, Bishop of Thucklay, will preside over the award function.

 ICPA’s Fr Luis Carreno Award will be conferred on Reji Joseph, Chief Reporter of  Deepika (Kerala’s premier Catholic  Daily), a seasoned journalist with more than 20 years of experience in reporting. Reji has to his credit already over 50 national and state level awards for his special stories on fisher folk, orphaned children, neglected senior citizens, and the marginalized.  His reports, replete with Christian values and consistently promoting social justice and equality, have often prompted respective governments to take several corrective and remedial measures. The Award was constituted by the ICPA with the support of the Mumbai Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco in fond memory of Fr Luis Carreno, a Salesian missionary who worked in India for several years, himself a renowned Catholic author of his time.

Swami Devanand Chakkungal Award will be conferred on the Hindi Christian Fortnightly, Buland Prajathanthra (Strong Democracy) published from Delhi under the patronage of the Catholic Bishops of North India. Mrs Lucy Gabriel, the present Editor of the Fortnightly, will receive the Award on behalf of the publishers. Devanand Chakkungal Award for Hindi journalists/author or periodical was established in 2001 in memory of Fr Devanand Chakkungal, SVD, a well-known Hindi writer, and a passionate lover and promoter of Hindi Christian literature. ICPA has constituted the Award in association with the Indore Province of the Divine Word Missionaries to which Swami Chakkungal belonged.

SC/BC Special Award 2014, established in association with the CBCI Office for SC/BC, goes to Richard Joseph of Deepka/Rashtra Deepika, Trivandrum Bureau. Richard Joseph has been awarded the SC/BC Special Award taking into account his consistent journalistic efforts in promoting the cause of the people of Schedule Caste/ Backward Class origin. Of special significance is his series of reports published in Deepika about the children from the tribal settlement of Eeyakode in Kerala, who dropped out of schools, which went unnoticed by the education ministry for many years. His reports prompted the then State education minister to order immediate action, and get the children back to school.                      — Fr Alfonso Elengikal




  1. Isaac Gomes said,

    October 29, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Congratulation to all the VERY YOUNG winners. As Fr Cedric Prakash said during his elucidation on what a Christian journalist should be, these journalists should also write in English besides vernaculars. Then a larger section of the Indian population, who may not be from our faith, would be able to appreciate true Christian Spirit towards the service of our increasingly pluralistic society.

    I was at the ICPA Convention and learned a lot.

    I wish Fr Cedric Prakash spoke more. He speaks from his heart and was the only one who struck the right chord on the theme of the convention “Prophetic Challenges before Media Today.”

    Isaac Gomes


  2. Isaac Gomes said,

    October 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    This is further to my earlier comment on ICPA Convention held at Kanyakumari on 24 & 25th October 2014.

    The following observations made by Bishop Salvadore Lobo, Chairman and by Fr Cedric Prakash at the convention are noteworthy:

    1. Bishop Salvadore Lobo in his capacity as Chairman said that Christian reporters should be in search of truth and report only the truth. To quote him: “Only Full truths and not half truths” should be reported.
    2. The Bishop further reiterated “Truth is not populism, it is something which is not widely acceptable.”
    3. Truth deserves to be presented to the world as Christ did. However, “We don’t need to be martyred to stand up for the truth”, he said.

    Points made by Fr Cedric Prakash, Director, Prashant which takes up issues on Human Rights, Justice and Peace:
    1. Christian journalists must take an unequivocal stand for truth, human rights and justice.
    2. If they don’t, they do not deserve to be called Christian journalists.
    3. Today there are five major challenges (the five Cs) to the Indian Media. They are:
    o Corporatisation of the Media (takeover of print media by big multinationals. Example The Statesman which is not bowing to this pressure and is slowly dying a dignified death)
    o Commercialisation of the media
    o Co-option of the media
    – due to Corporatisation and Commercialization of the Media
    – Co-option basically means losing one’s ability to think for oneself. It is incorporation of members who will not be a threat and will toe the dotted line. Example Paid Media
    o Compromising of the Media (due to fear, sting operation, etc.)
    o Communalisation of the media – mainline secular media is very different today from what it was before.

    4. As ICPA and others in the media, we are challenged to reflect urgently on:
    o Have we as Church taken Social Communications (specially the Print Media) seriously?
    o Do we have a Social Communications Commission in our diocese?
    – The Commission should necessarily constitute people from all walks of life specially lay professionals in communication
    o Do we engage the Church vocally (writing) and visibly in confronting injustice that plague our society like discrimination, displacement, corruption, communalism and casteism?
    o Have we prophetically denounced the grave ills in our society in order to boldly proclaim the “Good News”?
    o Do we engage in social media on important issues concerning Constitutional Rights and Freedom for all?
    o It is not the question of propagating Catholic faith but it is standing for values.


    • One should never compromise on Gospel values very specially on truth, human dignity and justice. viola
    • Every effort should be made to enter mainstream print media (both vernacular and English)
    • Christian journalists should aim to be mainstream reporters to bring about change or value system
    • Catholic youth should be trained in journalism/media to write letters to the editor and articles on important social issues to newspapers
    • More young writers should be encouraged to become journalists and members of ICPA
    • There is an urgent need to REINVENT church newspapers, magazines and bulletins.
    • The tragedy is that the Church media only highlights activities / events of Bishops, priests and nuns.
    • They hardly educate but in fact DOMESTICATE!
    • We need to network and collaborate with others in the mainstream media.
    • Church must allow and take in criticism. Otherwise it will not be prepared for the signs of time.
    • The Indian Catholic Press Association will be true to its name if it demonstrates unbridled courage to be visible and to be vocal (through the written word) given the context and challenges that India faces today.

    Isaac Gomes


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