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Top journalism prize for Mumbai-based blogger
Rediff News Bureau | October 25, 2007 14:34 IST
Mumbai-based journalist and commentator Amit Varma has won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism, 2007.
Varma, a one-time correspondent for Cricinfo, quit to set up his own website, indiauncut.com and through it, and his weekly columns for The Mint on Thursdays, has been at the cutting edge of commentary on the issues of the day.
Earlier this year, International Policy Network - under whose aegis the Bastiat Prize is annually given out - announced Varma's name in a seven-member short list, also comprising Clive Cook of the Atlantic Monthly, Jonah Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times; Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Despatch; Dominic Lawson of the Independent, London [Images] and Patrick McIlheran of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The prize is named in honour of 19th century French philosopher and essayist Fr�d�ric Bastiat, and celebrates "writers whose work cleverly and wittily promotes the institutions of the free society".
Amit sent in, as his official entries, three columns he had written for Mint.
A panel of judges including Brian Carney, editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal; Professor Bibek Debroy of the International Management Institute, India; Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the Washington DC Court of Appeals; Wolfgang Kasper, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia and Amity Shlaes, the syndicated Bloomberg columnist and senior fellow on the Council of Foreign Relations, made the final determination.
Amit, who travelled to New York earlier this week in company of art impresario wife Jasmine, was awarded the top prize at a dinner in New York October 24; as part of his win, received US$10,000 and an engraved candlestick.
Indian, and Indian-American, journalists have been doing well at the annual event from its inception in 2002. Previous winners include Rakesh Wadhwa, who took third prize last year for his work in The Himalayalan Times, and Sauvik Chakraverti of the Economic Times.
IPN says "Entries for the Bastiat Prize are judged on intellectual content, persuasiveness of language used, and type and location of publication. The prize is open to all writers, anywhere in the world; writers need not be associated with any specific publication.The prize was developed to encourage and reward writers whose published works promote the institutions of a free society: property rights, the rule of law and limited government."