Reading Time: 5 minutesNice Diwali present, Premier Gladys Berejiklian murmured to Indian Link founders Pawan and Rajni Luthra.
She was on stage, handing them the Publication of the Year Award at the 2018 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCA). She must truly believe in the ‘most successful multicultural nation on earth’ spiel her party is constantly delivering, or she’s been to way too many Diwali events in the past few days.
Either way, she couldn’t have said it better to the Indian Link team on awards night. It’s also not a bad 25th anniversary gift, they could have told her. The publication brought home its 22nd media award this month. This is the second time Indian Link has won in this category, having won it before in 2015.
The prestigious annual awards recognise excellence in the multicultural media and marketing industry. “Multicultural communicators ensure everyone has access to information about services and opportunities to participate fully in our society,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated on the occasion. “Communicating the successes of our multicultural society and identity is core to the success of our harmonious and socially cohesive State.”
Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams noted that winners and finalists demonstrated the importance of a thriving multicultural communications sector. “These awards set the benchmark of excellence for media and marketing professionals not only in NSW, but across the country,” he said.
“Congratulations to the Indian Link team for winning Publication of the Year at the 2018 PMCAs! You work hard to deliver a variety of stories that connect thousands of Indian-Australians to their culture every day. Thank you for your leadership in multicultural media and commitment to ensuring the community remains informed,” he added.
Indian Link CEO Pawan Luthra was delighted at his team’s collaborative efforts. “Trust is a major factor in the world of media today,” he noted. “With the consumer having the option of receiving their information from multiple sources, it is imperative that your reportage is fair and accurate and you continually search for not only excellence in media reporting but work hard to remain ahead of the curve in your ability to deliver news and information through multiple platforms to your consumers. At Indian Link Media Group we are privileged to have a group of dedicated writers and regular advertisers who understand the principles to which we adhere, to maintain our quality and trusted brand status.”
The award came at a time when his core team had finished a massive round of Diwali mela appearances on multiple weekends, and were probably suffering ‘fair fatigue’.
“The late nights and deadline stresses all seem worth it,” Rajni said later that night as the team took repeat selfies with the gong and the plaques. She added, “I am so proud of Ritam Mitra, nominated for Best News Report, and Virat Nehru, nominated for Young Journalist.”
Ritam’s story Labour pains of adoption, an investigative piece developed over the course of several months, tackled head-on the often overlooked issue of adoption, highlighting a significant policy and information gap in Australia’s arrangements for inter-country adoption from India. Published in November 2017 during National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW), the piece has been viewed more than 21,000 times on the website alone besides print nationwide, reached over 2,000 people on Facebook with over 200 likes. The story was also one of the top reads on Indian Link’s weekly e-newsletter in 2017. It also drew international attention, including being shared by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), an Indian government body formed under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, and the UK-based International Adoption Guide.
Virat Nehru has been contributing for Indian Link for four years now. He wrote extensively for the student newspaper Honi Soit while at uni and was the prose editor for Sydney University Literary Society’s annual journal Carillon. He worked at SBS World News as well as at The Conversation Media Group before plunging into the world of arts journalism. What is most impressive about Virat’s body of work is his particular approach to exploring – through the arts – specific cultural issues and touchpoints. He believes that arts and culture journalism holds an interesting mirror up to the society we live in. His expertise on Indian cinema and culture was officially recognised by the Sydney Film Festival this year when it invited him to introduce the Indian feature film Mehsampur – playing as part of the program – and to conduct and moderate the Q&A with the director of the film Kabir Chowdhry post the film screening.
Indian Link was also nominated this year in the Best Use of Digital or Social Media category, for their widely read weekly enewsletter. This is one of the many multimedia channels through which the publication reaches its readers.
Launched in 2007, today it reaches 43,900 subscribers in the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, with Sydney and Melbourne newsletters being sent out weekly. The e-news is a carefully curated collection of the best stories carried in Indian Link’s print editions and on its website. It has become an important connect to readers in a way that’s substantial yet convenient. The success of the take-up rate from amongst the subscribers has also made it a lucrative option for businesses large and small to send their message out to the community.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world at around the same time, another major award was announced when Idris Elba was named by People magazine as the Sexiest Man Alive for 2018. When CEO Pawan Luthra was asked if he was willing to trade his award for that honour, he said, “Nah… ours is more lasting. I will hang on to this one, thank you.”