Noted Journalist P Sainath Awarded Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize


 Journalist P Sainath

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Prominent Journalist Palagummi Sainath has been awarded the Fukuoka Grand Prize, which is given to individuals and organisations for their work in preserving Asian culture.

The award was established by Japan’s Fukuoka city and the Fukuoka City International Foundation.

According to, the Fukuoka Prize Committee said Sainath is a committed journalist who has continued to investigate impoverished farming villages in India and captured the reality of the lifestyle of the residents in such areas.

“As Asia goes through turbulent changes, Mr. Sainath has been seeking new ‘knowledge’ and promoting civil cooperation,” the committee’s statement said. “For this reason, he is a very deserving recipient of the Grand Prize of Fukuoka Prize.”

It said that after establishing the People’s Archive of Rural India in 2014 as a platform for digital journalism, Sainath has worked on ground-breaking projects of collecting information about the diverse cultures of rural societies.

Sainath was born in Chennai and has served as the editor of The Hindu and as the vice-editor of political magazine Blitz. He was awarded the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Prize for journalism in 1995 and the Amnesty International Global Human Rights Journalism Prize in 2000. He received the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization’s Boerma Prize in 2001 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding contribution to Asian journalism in 2007.

His major publications include Everybody loves a good drought, which is a collection of 85 articles published in The Times of India, under the series “The face of poor India”.

“He teaches at universities both in India and abroad educating the young generation about the realities of social inequality and rural society,” the statement said. “Since last year he has been busy reporting on the rural areas which are suffering doubly from the pandemic of Covid-19 and poverty and encouraging people to help each other.”

In his acceptance speech, Sainath said he was honoured to be given the award and to join the list of past winners. He dedicated the award to journalists reporting on residents marginalised in the rural areas, who are badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Particularly I dedicate to my colleagues at the People’s Archive of Rural India, who continue to report from the ground on the migrants, the workers, the farmers, the landless, the artists and artisans, the fisherfolk and the destitute,” the journalist added.

Sainath said that the award being given to him shows that there are institutions with strong progressive internationalist ideals “who do not want journalists to be mere stenographers to [those in] power”.


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