The award, instituted by the Kesari-Mahratta Trust, carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. It recognises lasting contribution to the field of journalism. The award was presented to Mathew by Deepak Tilak, chairman of the trust, at a function to mark the 133rd anniversary of 'Kesari'.
Responding to the honour, Mathew drew parallels between 'Malayala Manorama' and 'Kesari', saying that both newspapers shared a similar cause of inculcating the spirit of patriotism during the fight against British rule. Hailing the role played by Lokmanya Tilak in the "great cultural renaissance" in the country, Mathew said the media was "duty bound" to safeguard the "Swarajya".
Tilak had famously said that "Swarajya" was his "birthright", in 1907. Mathew said he felt deeply honoured by the award, which he dedicated to the readers of and colleagues at 'Malayala Manorama'.
Saying that Lokmanya Tilak was a national icon, Mathew spoke of the "grit and guts" of the leader in taking on the British by launching 'Kesari', which inspired the pre- Independence generation to participate in the freedom struggle. Mathew said that as had been aptly described by Mahatma Gandhi, the Lokamanya's personality was like that of an "ocean".
He noted that the 'Malayala Manorama' group was committed to the journalistic values of "fairness, justice and morality". He added that they believed in "journalism with a human touch". Maharashtra cooperation minister Harshawardhan Patil was among those present on the occasion.