Indian Journalist Wins 2007 Frederic Bastiat Prize for Journalism
IPN Press release
New York City – Last night, the sixth annual Bastiat Prize for Journalism was awarded to Indian journalist Amit Varma, an editorial columnist for Mint (a joint venture between the Wall Street Journal and India’s Hindustan Times).
Varma was thrilled to receive the Prize, which came with US $10,000 and an engraved crystal candlestick, evocative of Frederic Bastiat’s satirical essay in which the candle makers of France petition the government to block out their competition: the sun. He said:
“Frederic Bastiat is one of my intellectual heroes and his ideas are terribly relevant to modern India. Therefore I’m honored to win the Bastiat Prize, especially given the caliber of the other five finalists in the competition.”
Commenting on the winner, Julian Morris, Executive Director of International Policy Network, the organization which runs the Bastiat Prize, said:
“Varma’s articles are brilliant and witty. Like Bastiat, he uses satire to explain and criticize overbearing government regulation. While his subject matter is India, the ideas are universal.”
Second place ($4,000 and a candlestick) went to Clive Crook, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and Associate Editor of the Financial Times. Third place ($1,000 and candlestick) went to Jonah Goldberg, Contributing Editor to National Review and a syndicated columnist.
This was the biggest competition to date, with 280 entrants from a field including many very established journalists. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including former winners Amity Shlaes (now with Bloomberg) and Brian Carney (Wall Street Journal).
The Bastiat Prize was established in 2002 by International Policy Network, a global think tank based in London. The Prize recognizes journalists whose writings wittily and eloquently explain, promote and defend the principles of the free society, including property rights, free markets and the rule of law.
Other previous winners of the Bastiat Prize have included Tim Harford (Financial Times), Mary Anastasia O’Grady (Wall Street Journal) and Robert Guest (The Economist).
Next year’s competition, open to journalists and published writers everywhere, will begin in April 2008.