Praveen Kumar was adjudged the Best Overall Student of the Course; Priyanka P. Pandit won the Best Student award in the English Journalism Course; and Razia Shahab won the Best Student award in the Hindi Journalism course.
Bemoaning the falling standards of journalism in the country, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar said journalists today were merely writing what the establishment dished out to them as press notes while the real challenge was to "go behind" the news.
Speaking at the convocation of IMII at the India International Centre, Nayar described journalists who do not delve into the issue and were confined only to their offices as "babus".
"Today," he regretted, "they make their reports from press notes."
"It is not the job a journalist to have holy cows, defend the government, see the vested interests flourish but the job of a journalist is to expose and to be a rebel," said Nayar, who at 86 remains one of the most widely read journalists whose columns are syndicated in over 80 newspapers and magazines in 15 languages in the subcontinent and the Gulf.
"A journalist is known for its credibility," said Nayar, who also narrated to the rapt audience how he broke the story about Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan admitting to him in a fit of pique that his country had the nuclear bomb much before they actually tested it in retaliation to India's tests in May 1998.
Nayar, who has also served as press adviser to Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, high commissioner to the United Kingdom and a Member of Parliament, said the romance of journalism lies in finding the truth. "Only then will the people put their faith in you."
Mr Tarun Basu, President of the Society for Policy Studies, the non-profit think tank that has collaborated with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ – www.icfj.org), Washington and the Knight Foundation to establish IMII, said journalists should never take freedom of the press for granted instead work towards upholding it. .
Mr Sunil, Saxena, IMII Dean, informed that IMII is the first journalism institute in India to introduce students to working in a converged newsroom. ""This is something that even the India media has not achieved," he said.
Mr Chris Conte, Knight International Fellow and Advisor to IMII, delivered the vote of thanks.