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Stephanie Nolen with the girls of Prerna Residential School for MahaDalit Girls in Bihar, India, in 2012 (LANA SLEZIC)
Stephanie Nolen with the girls of Prerna Residential School for MahaDalit Girls in Bihar, India, in 2012 (LANA SLEZIC)

Globe writer Stephanie Nolen’s Breaking Caste series lauded in India Add to ...

Foreign correspondent Stephanie Nolen has won the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, recognizing her work reporting in India.

The award is presented annually to the top foreign correspondent covering India, “for coverage that most accurately and sensitively portrays India to a foreign audience,” said Ambreen Khan with the Ramnath Goenka Foundation, which presents the awards.

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“The award pays tribute to journalists from print and broadcast who maintain the highest standards of their profession, and, despite facing political and economic pressure, still manage to produce work that generates and sustains public trust in the media and impacts the lives of people,” she said.

The award recognizes Ms. Nolen’s “Breaking Caste” multimedia project for The Globe and Mail.

“Breaking Caste was brave, classy journalism that educated the world,” said Globe editor-in-chief David Walmsley. “With poise and empathy, Stephanie delivered a project of world class value. If you haven’t read the work I encourage you to do so. And if you have, I recommend you read it again. It is fine journalism filled with observations, ideas and solutions.”

Mr. Walmsley said the award illustrates that The Globe’s commitment to foreign coverage is recognized beyond Canada’s borders.

The Breaking Caste project, which began in 2011 and continued for the next three years, tells the story of Prerna, a remarkable school for Dalit girls in rural Bihar. It explores how issues of caste and gender continue to be powerful forces in the lives of many Indians today, despite rapid modernization, foreign editor Susan Sachs said.

“It looks closely at the question of how these girls, the first in their community ever to have access to education, may make their way in an India that has not changed as fast as they have, and what limitations, challenges and opportunities they may face.”

Ms. Nolen, who now is The Globe’s correspondent in South America, said she was honoured by the award. “Discrimination based on caste and gender continue to bedevil India, but they’re not often part of public conversation, and so it is especially meaningful to have our coverage recognized by one of India’s most prestigious media organizations,” she said. “I look forward to telling the girls of Prerna about this prize.”

Each year, the Ramnath Goenka Award is presented at a ceremony in New Delhi, usually by India’s prime minister or president.

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