Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi, who authored the book ‘I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Digital Army’, was given the Press Freedom Award for Courage, in an annual event by Reporters without Borders.
Chaturvedi’s book, published in 2016, exposes the online trolls affiliated with the BJP and how they “incite online communal tension and abuse, and sexually harass journalists, opposition politicians and anyone who questions them”, according to its description on Goodreads.
While presenting the award to her at the Getty Images Gallery in London’s Fitzrovia, the organization said that Chaturvedi was “subjected to virulent online harassment for investigating the ‘IT cell’ within the Bharatiya Janata Party, that is notorious for keeping an army of angry trolls”.
Despite this, Chaturvedi’s work, both within and outside the realm of her book, as a reflection of the inner workings of the government, continue to be her force-driver, she says. In an interview with The Gulf News, a website she has also written for, she said: “I have always been doing the same thing, since the day I started my career. I have remained the same. I speak the truth as I perceive it and that’s that.”
Chaturvedi was one among four nominees for the award under the ‘Courage’ category.
The other nominees included Paolo Borrometi (editor of anti-mafia investigative site La Spia in Italy), Cigdem Toker (independent Turkish journalist and columnist for Cumhuriyet) and Hamid El Mahdaoui (founder editor of Badil.info, who was sentenced to a jail term of three years in June in Morocco), The Gulf News report added.
Updated by: News Sources 2019-03-05 2:54 PM