IMPHAL, November 16: The government should not neglect the Directorate of Information and Public Relation as a minor department, said president of the All Manipur Working Journalist Union Wangkhemcha Shyamjai
He continued that the government should stop the step motherly treatment meted out to the department and understand the department’s importance.
The AMWJU president was speaking at a function commemorating the National Press Day, 2013 at the Manipur Press Club, Major Khul today.
The function was organized by the Directorate of Information and Public Relation.
The state Directorate of Information and Public Relation, which acts as the back bone of the journalist community, needs to be strengthened, he continued.
He continued that the man-power of the DIPR is less including its number of reporters.
Since the building of the department is being shifted from one to another, and as it has been arranged on a temporary basis, it is unable to work to its full capacities, he continued.
He said the situation of the department which is an important department is in a pathetic condition.
He said that in the year 1965, the state government had recommended the formation of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and ten years afterwards, the union started fully working.
In a democracy, the media fraternity is regarded as the fourth estate, and in an insurgency prone state like Manipur the journalist community is working very hard with pressures mounted on from various state and non state actors, he lamented.
Manipur has a 27 lakh population, whereas there are only 270 people working in the field, which has caused several grievances in the field of reporting, he continued.
In such a situation the ministers and MLAs play divide and rule policy amongst the journalist fraternity by having their own selected groups of journalists, which has created a professional hazard.
He added that sometimes there are considerations to launch agitation demanding the completion of the DIPR building completion at Nityaipat Chuthek, AMWJU president said.
Meanwhile, the state journalist awards for outstanding contribution for the year 2012 from January to December were also distributed.
The Best Editor award was conferred to Huiyen Lanpao Editor Sheityajit Usham, Best Rural Reporting award to Sub-Editor Naharolgi Thoudang Torem Bishwajit Singh, Best Reporting in Public Health and Hygiene award to reporter Huiyen Lanpao Meisnam Karnajit, Best Reporting in Women and Child Award to Desk Editor of ISTV Thiyam Ranjan (Richard Ranjan), Best Reporting in Sports conferred to Senior Reporter of Huiyen Lanpao Rataneshwari Goshwami, Best Reporting in Art and Culture Award conferred to Senior Reporter of Naharolgi Thoudang Biramangol Ningombam, the Best Reporting in Science and Technology Award conferred to Senior Reporter of Sangai Express Laishram Shamungaou, and Best Parliamentary reporting award conferred to Sub-Editor of Poknapham Laishram Keshonanda.
The state journalist awards to the outstanding journalists include a Citation, Shawl and a cash of Rs 25 thousand each.
A special one time pension award of Rs 10 thousand with a shawl and citation was conferred to former Editor of Sikni-Eng paper in Mizo language publication at Churchandpur Lalhmingliana Torell for his contribution in the field of journalism.
The former Editor had started his journalist career before the DIPR pension scheme had started, and finally when it was launched he was already passed the age limit.
The function was also attended by commissioner of IPR Letkhogin Haokip as the chief guest and director IPR W Rajen Singh as the guest of honour.
The inaugural function was followed by an interactive and discussion session with S Bharat Bhusan former Editor of Huiyen Lanpao as moderator and M Saratchandra Sr, PRO Manipur University and Dr. A Ibomcha Sharma News Editor AIR Imphal on the paper of the role of media in serving public interest.