THE Press Club Mumbai has selected Mrinal Pandey, the first woman editor of a multi-edition Hindi daily, Hindustan, and recently retired as chairperson of Prasar Bharti, for the RedInk Award for ‘Lifetime Achievement’. Pande was selected for her ‘long, distinguished and impactful’ contribution to Indian journalism through a survey of more than 100 senior journalists and an intense evaluation of a short-list by the Managing Committee of the Press Club.

The Award – a trophy, citation and Rs one lakh in cash – will be presented to her at the RedInk Awards function on 7 June in Mumbai at the Jamshed Bhaba Theater, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA).

Reacting to the news of having being selected for the Award, Pande said, “I am touched and honored to be considered for the RedInk Awards, at this point in my life. It’s wonderful to be recognized by one’s own group.”

Taking over as the first editor woman editor in 2000 of a mass circulated Hindi Daily, Mrinal Pandey reinvented and energized Hindustan bringing it among the largest circulated newspapers in India. This was at a time when HT Group was finalizing plans to shut the newspaper for non-performance. She was the founding president of the Indian Women’s Press Corps and has recently retired from the Chairmanship of the national broadcaster, Prasar Bharti, in April this year.

In other sections of the RedInk Awards, 10 panels of juries were constituted from among distinguished citizens, senior journalists and industry experts to judge over 800 entries in print, online and television entries. From this intense competition have emerged nearly 30 winners and runners-up who will receive cash prizes of Rs one lakh in each of the 14 competitive categories.

The Journalism Awards have been instituted to promote best practices among journalists and encourage good quality writing, fair play and high ethical standards.

In the fourth year now, the RedInk Awards have been expanded and restructured this year to include important areas like ‘human rights’ as well as to draw a distinction between ‘breaking news’ of the day from the long-form, analytical writing of the magazine variety.


Mrinal Pande was born in 1946 in Tikamgarh to Shivani , a well known Hindi author and Shukdeo Pant , an educationist . She was schooled in Nainital and graduated from the University of Allahabad where she studied Sanskrit , ancient Indian history and English literature . Mrinal has also studied classical Hindusthani ( vocal ) music under eminent Gurus and art at the Corcoran School of art , Washington DC .

Mrinal has taught at the Universities of Allahabad , Delhi and Bhopal before switching to journalism in mid 1980s . She has edited well known Hindi periodicals , Vama and Saptahik Hindustan for the Times of India and the Hindustan Times group .

Mrinal has worked as Editor Anchor for Hindi news in Star News and also Doordarshan. In 2000 she became India’s first woman Chief Editor of a multi edition Hindi daily (Hindustan , Hindustan Times Group) . She was also the Secretary General of the Editors’ Guild of India and the founder President of the Indian Women’s Press Corps , a national body of India’s women journalists , a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Board for Film Certification . Mrinal was also a member of the group that prepared Shramshakti , India’s first documentation of the status and lives of women workers in the unorganized informal sector . The report Shramshakti was published in 1989.

After her retirement in 2009 , Mrinal was appointed Chairman of India’s national broadcaster , Prasar Bharati . She completed a 4 year term there and has demitted office in April this year. Mrinal has been writing in both Hindi and in Englsish . Her work covers fiction , plays , and essays on contemporary India and its women and a study of India’s rural women and their sexual and reproductive lives . She has also translated two rare accounts of the 1857 Mutiny, one from Marathi and another from Hindi, to highlight common citizens’ testimony as to how they had experienced the uprising.

She was awarded the Padmashree in 2006 for her services in the field of journalism.

She is married with two daughters. She lives in Delhi with her husband.

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