Jayan Menon And Malayala Manorama

Wind Under The Wings Award (2016)

Jayan Menon and Malayala Manorama On July 28, 2015, Kerala’s largest circulating daily, Malayala Manorama, published an exposé that blew the lid off the state’s Machiavellian, illegal ivory mafia. Their Chief Reporter Jayan Menon had uncovered a story of elephant poaching and ivory trade so scandalous and grim, that within four months, 42 individuals were arrested in the case. Menon’s initial report revealed that within a year, over 40 elephants were slaughtered in Kerala’s Western Ghats for their tusks. The further revelation that this large-scale poaching was enabled by the apathy as well as criminal connivance of officialdom served to fuel the issue. Menon’s report in Malayala Manorama and the ensuing uproar forced the state government to turn the case over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, and led to the formation of an inter-state coordination committee to monitor elephant poaching in India’s southern states.

Starting out as a sports journalist, Jayan gradually gravitated to investigative journalism, and for the past nine years his byline has become synonymous with hard-hitting, public interest stories. Through these years, he’s nurtured an interest in wildlife, and as early as 1997 he was covering the ivory trail of the bandit Veerapan.

No stranger to accolades, Menon has previously been awarded the G. Venugopal Award of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, the Kerala Government’s Safety Award, and the V.K. Madhavankutty award amongst many others. However, this year’s impactful reportage by Menon and its publication by Malayala Manorama has raised the standards for regional reporting on conservation issues in the country.

And for this, we honour them.