Cambridge, Mass. —Fellows in the Nieman Foundation for Journalism’s class of 2021 at Harvard University have chosen The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture in India, for the 2021 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
The Nieman Fellows selected The Caravan in recognition of its unique and uncompromising coverage of the erosion of human rights, social justice, and democracy in India.
The fellows note that the selection of this publication comes under extraordinary and alarming circumstances. The Caravan’s recent coverage of nationwide farmers’ protests has drawn the ire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which has attempted to shut down the magazine’s social media accounts and brought sedition charges against multiple Caravan employees. Under such intimidation, The Caravan embodies an urgent commitment to conscience and integrity.
The Caravan’s recent work is another chapter in a legacy of indispensable reporting in the world’s most populous democracy. India’s first publication devoted to narrative journalism, The Caravan has persistently spoken truth to power while documenting the rise of political Hinduism in the country over the past decade. Risking violence and imprisonment, its reporters have written an essential series of investigations into Hindu supremacist terrorism, political murder, caste and gender injustice, and ethnic violence against India’s Muslim minority. The Caravan has repeatedly demonstrated that it represents a beacon of moral clarity in Indian public life.
The Nieman class of 1964 established the Louis M. Lyons Award in honor of the Nieman Foundation curator who retired that year after leading the institution for a quarter of a century. Lyons was a forceful advocate for freedom of the press. While he was curator of the Nieman Foundation, he broke new ground by diversifying the class of fellows to include women, minorities and international fellows. The award honors displays of conscience and integrity by individuals, groups or institutions in communications.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts in all fields. More than 1,600 journalists from 99 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a website and print magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; Nieman Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.