Veteran Journalist Nirmala Carvalho Honored with Golden Pen Award for Excellence in Journalism by The Examiner

Featured & Cover Veteran Journalist Nirmala Carvalho Honored with Golden Pen Award for Excellence in Journalism by The Examiner

Nirmala Carvalho, a seasoned journalist renowned for her contributions to Church publications in India and abroad, has been honored with the esteemed Golden Pen Award for her outstanding achievements in journalism. The award, bestowed by The Examiner, a venerable weekly publication with a 175-year history based in Mumbai, was presented to her by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, during a ceremony in the western Indian city commemorating the weekly’s milestone anniversary.

Reflecting on the significance of The Examiner, Cardinal Gracias described it as a stalwart beacon of truth, reason, and inspiration for countless individuals both in India and beyond its borders. Alongside Carvalho, Christopher Mendonca was awarded the Silver Pen, while Firuza Pathan was presented with the newly introduced Bronze Pen, aimed at recognizing the contributions of youth in journalism.

Carvalho expressed her surprise and gratitude upon receiving the award, stating, “I’m giving thanks to God, but feeling humble.” With a career spanning four decades, the 62-year-old journalist has made significant contributions to various publications, including AsiaNews,, and Matters India.

Acknowledged for her comprehensive coverage of topics concerning the Catholic Church, such as religious freedom, social issues, and political developments, Carvalho’s work has garnered international recognition and has been translated into multiple languages. The award committee lauded her focus on the intricate intersections between government, politics, culture, and society, particularly emphasizing her insightful reporting on Indian bishops, religious persecution, Catholicism in India, and the relationship between Indian politics and the Church in Asia.

This accolade marks the third major award for Carvalho, following her receipt of an AsiaNews Journalism Scholarship in Rome in 2010 and the CBCI Commission for Social Communications Award for Church and Minority Sensitive Reporting six years later. Additionally, in 2009, she was honored with the Steins International Award for Religious Harmony in the Field of Human Rights.

Carvalho attributes her calling as a Christian journalist to her high school days when she began by writing letters to the editor, thus commencing a fulfilling and challenging career. Based in Mumbai, she has brought attention to stories of human rights abuses, persecution, and oppression, offering hope and assistance to marginalized communities. Moreover, she highlights the significant contributions of Christian missionaries to human dignity and development.

The award, established by the Mascarenhas family of Mumbai in memory of their parents, underscores Carvalho’s dedication and achievements in journalism. The Examiner, founded on July 10, 1849, by the Jesuits, holds the distinction of being the oldest English-language Catholic newspaper in India.

Cardinal Gracias reflected on the momentous occasion, emphasizing the rich legacy of excellence embodied by The Examiner throughout its long history. Since its inception, the publication has steadfastly upheld the values of the Church, fostering dialogue, and catalyzing positive change within the Catholic community and society at large.

Father Anthony Charanghat, who has been associated with The Examiner for over five decades and served as its editor for more than 25 years, expressed gratitude for the publication’s uninterrupted 175-year journey. He highlighted The Examiner’s role as a religious magazine, emphasizing its commitment to reflecting God’s love through its interpretation of His Word in accessible language for all readers.

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