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Awards Overview

ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism
K P Narayana Kumar Memorial Award for Social Impact Journalism
Ashish Yechury Memorial Award for Photojournalism


The Asian College of Journalism, with the support of the Media Development Foundation, has instituted three awards to recognise and encourage the best works of journalism produced for an Indian audience. The purpose of the awards is to promote journalism in the public interest.

ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism

As part of its functioning, the news media unearths wrongdoing and holds power to account. This award is to act as a catalyst and inspire more journalists, editors and newsrooms to pursue investigative work and, in the process, raise the standards of journalism and contribute to the public interest.

Understanding Investigative Journalism

Investigative journalism, for the purpose of the award, will be that which exposes wrongdoing in the public interest. Work in this domain covers a wide variety of journalistic investigation including abuse of public office, environmental degradation, human rights violations, financial fraud and corporate mismanagement, gender-related violence, political apathy, war crimes, civic neglect and much more. This is only an indicative, not an exhaustive, list of what could come within the ambit of investigative journalism. The judging criteria will include the nature of the investigation, its impact and the extent of the public interest involved.

The award will comprise a trophy, citation and a cash prize of INR 2,00,000/- (two lakh rupees).

K P Narayana Kumar Memorial Award for Social Impact Journalism

K P Narayana Kumar, an alumnus of the Asian College of Journalism from the class of 2000, died in 2019 at the age of 39. Narayan or ‘KP’ as he was known, built a brand around his signature journalistic style of storytelling, which went beyond the obvious and highlighted injustice across society. Not only was he a wonderful writer, but KP was also much loved for his kindness and generosity. To celebrate his work and life, the alumni from the class of 2000 have instituted this award.

K P Narayana Kumar Memorial Award for Social Impact Journalism will honour exceptional, original reporting on important subjects with the potential for social impact and which can spur reform and find solutions.

Understanding Social Impact

For the purposes of the award, social impact journalism involves identifying a latent social problem and reporting in a way that points to possible solutions. The reportage should ideally give voice to the voiceless and shine a light on under-reported subjects lost in the drumbeat of breaking news. These stories should take aim at important social, cultural, political or economic problems and create impact.

The award will comprise a trophy, citation and a cash prize of INR 1,00,000/- (rupees one lakh).

Ashish Yechury Memorial Award for Photojournalism

The family of Ashish Yechury, an ACJ graduate from the class of 2011 who passed away during the Covid pandemic in April 2021, has instituted this award in his memory. Ashish Yechury worked at some of India’s leading media houses during his time as a journalist. He loved telling stories and chronicling events with images. This award will seek to recognise and reward the best news storytelling efforts through photography.

Understanding Photojournalism

For the purposes of the award, photojournalism will constitute all journalistic work with still images as the main format of storytelling. Photographs may be accompanied by captions, stories and other elements. However, the images must be about a single story or a series of interlinked narratives (not a broad category or section). The judging criteria include quality of composition, preparedness and skill of the photojournalist, impact of the images and the accompanying contextual elements, captions and/or articles if any. Photo-led news reports or news features will be considered.

The award for photojournalism will comprise a trophy, citation and a cash prize of INR 1,00,000/- (rupees one lakh).


1. Entries for investigative and social impact categories can be made in any format, including print, digital, text, multimedia (videos, podcasts, graphics, etc.).

2. Photojournalism should revolve around photographic images. There can be supporting material such as captions, write-ups and articles. However, the judging criteria will focus on the images and their ability to convey a story. Graphics, illustrations and digital art will not be eligible.

3. Entries should have been published primarily for and accessed by audiences in India. Entries that have been published with foreign audiences as their primary target will not be considered.

4. Entries can be made for work appearing in any language, as long as an English language translation is provided for the judging process. The English translation should be faithful to the original work. The work will be judged based on the English translation.

5. Organisations, teams or individuals may apply themselves or be nominated by anyone, depending on the nature of the work. A Team may consist of a maximum of five members.

6. Each entrant (individual or team) can submit a maximum of three separate entries in each award category – investigative, social impact and photojournalism. The same entry may not be submitted in more than one category.

7. Each entry could have several parts, such as a series of articles or episodes in a web series. However, the ACJ Awards Committee and/or juries may determine the limit or maximum number of entries that might be considered as a part of an entry (entries with multiple parts or a series should have a cogent narrative that strings elements together). Wide-ranging works such as books or entire websites cannot be nominated as a single entry.

8. The ACJ Awards Committee reserves the right to request nominees to authenticate the publication of their work(s). This includes proof of publication, or, where such proof is not available, a letter of authentication from the publisher or producer.

Important Dates

1.Only journalistic work that was published from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023 will be considered.

2. The deadline for nominations/entries is extended to March 4, 2024. Entries submitted after this date will not be considered.

3. The winners will be presented the awards in May 2024 at the ACJ Awards and Convocation Ceremony.

Awards Jury

The Awards Jury will be announced soon.


For any queries about the awards, please write to:

Nikhil Kanekal, ACJ Awards Convenor, Email:

Lakshmi Ramji, Bursar, ACJ, Email: