In the face of pressure, many members of the media showed tremendous courage and some even went to jail, the minister said.
"Those who have the power of the pen can accomplish huge tasks. Sometimes, they themselves may not have an idea of what they may achieve," the Union Science and Technology Minister said at the 43rd Matri Shree media awards here.
Recalling the contribution of freedom fighters, Vardhan recalled that people had sacrificed their lives for the nation.
But now, 70 years since Independence, people could contribute in their own ways to improving the lives of those around them, he added.
He added that while uncovering social evils, journalists should also highlight the contribution of unsung heroes who inspire society.
The government had worked with zeal to take Internet to the rural masses, he said.
One of the organisers, Dinesh Sharma, said the award was instituted to honour the "fighting spirit of journalists" during the Emergency period.
The minister presented the awards to 26 journalists. Akshay Kumar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha was adjudged the best film by the award organisers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)