[Photo: (L to R) Winners of English and Malay Newspapers Division Annual Awards 2009 - The Straits Times' executive photographer, Lim Wui Liang, senior Thai correspondent, Nirmal Ghosh and senior writer Sandra Davie. Mr Ghosh also won the inaugural Journalist of the Year award.]
By Chen Jing Ting
HIS colleagues in The Straits Times know him as a man who wears numerous hats - not only is Mr Nirmal Ghosh the Thailand senior correspondent for the paper, but he is also a devoted environmentalist.
Yesterday, the go-getter added another feather to his cap.
The Kolkata-born Singapore permanent resident, who has close to two decades' experience in the newspaper industry, was named the first Journalist of the Year at the English and Malay Newspapers Division Annual Awards.
The journalism "Oscars" aim to honour the best among Singapore Press Holdings' English and Malay newspapers.
The 49-year-old, who has written books on wildlife in India, said it felt "strange" to win the award. As he explained: "It is important to be humble and open to learning new things."
As for what makes a good journalist, he emphasised the need to be at the site of action, pay attention to details and do background research.
He added: "When doing news reporting, there cannot be personal biases and prejudices.
"You report things as they happen, and one voice matters as much as the other."
Story of the year: Leslie Lopez for his story, "JI man with links to Sept 11 plotters freed" (The Straits Times, Dec 10, 2008)
Feature of the year: Sandra Davie for her feature "US$599 for an instant degree" (The Straits Times, Aug 29, 2008)
Commentary of the year: Wong Wei Kong for his commentary, "Spare the job, save the economy" (The Business Times, Nov 12, 2008)
Young journalist of the year: Liew Hanqing, The New Paper
Headline of the year: Patricia Wee for her headline, "Oh, shoot, spring's sprung a stinker" (The Straits Times, Nov 5, 2008)
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