IMPHAL, November 16: As a part of the three days National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of Indian Journalist Union (IJU), the National Press Day was also observed at Sahitya Sabha Auditorium, Borpeta road, Assam.
Parliamentary secretary, Information and Public Relations, and Minor Irrigation, Government of Manipur, K Meghachandra, released a souvenir published by the IJU during the occassion.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, union minister DoNER; Nilamani Sen Deka minister, Agriculture & Parliamentary Affairs, Govt. Of Assam; Hagrama Mahilary, Chief Executive Member, BTC, Kokhrajhar, Assam; Chandan Brahma, Minister, Transport & Tourism, Govt. of Assam and SN Sinha, president, Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and representatives of media from different parts of the globe including Bangladesh, Nepal also attended the National Press Day.
Marking the National Press Day, photos of senior photo journalist from Manipur, Ratan Luwangcha and RK Buluraj were also exhibited.
Altogether two photo stories one comprising 35 photos story entitled ‘Unrest Manipur’ and 39 photos story entitled “AFSPA”, and photo story of RK Buluraj entitled “Sharmila” were exhibited.
Speaking during the occasion, K Meghachandra, congratulated the IJU and the organizer Journalists` Union of Assam (JUA) and all the media fraternity converge there.
Terming the day as an important and symbolic day not only for the journalists and all those associated with the media, divulged that it marks the free and responsible press in India as on this day in 1966, the Press Council of India (PCI) started functioning as a moral watchdog to preserve the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press in India.
November 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country. All those who cherish the freedom and sanctity of the press commemorate the day, he said.
“It is heartening to note that the Press Council of India (PCI) has adopted the theme “Role of Media in Serving Public Interest” for its National Press Day this year. This theme is particularly significant as it introspects and retrospect the role of the media more acutely and minutely”.
He observed that as a pillar of democracy, the media plays a crucial role in influencing people`s perception on all issues adding that its vital role is to promote democracy in the society and to wage crusades against aberrations of imperfections in polity and to ensure good governance, wholesome development of the Nation.
K Meghachandra further dwelling on the roles of the media asserted, “Ours is an age of great change – social, economic, political and technological. The impact of this change is seen in every field, including our individual and collective thought processes. This is the age when major premises are being revisited and the certitudes of an earlier era called into question. The answers are often disconcerting, in many cases tentative”.
The convergence between news media, entertainment and telecom has meant that the demarcation between journalism, public relations, advertising and entertainment is many times blurred, he said and exhorted the need to focus where these changes in society and in our though processes impact the ideal of journalism.
Noting the protection and freedom under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India to act as the custodian of public interest, he urged to journalist to discern the difference between the `In public interest and the Interest to public` by differentiating the sensational and trivial from the positive and serious.
Meanwhile, on the first day of the three days NEC meeting, IPR Minister, Government of Assam, Basanta Das, reportedly highlighted the welfare taken up by the Assam Government.
He mentioned that the Assam Government has sanctioned rupees 10 crores as corpus fund to take up various welfare schemes for Assam Journalist including establishing a journalist colony, implementation of Majithea wage board etc.
GA Naocha, general secretary of All Manipur Journalist Union (AMWJU), also elaborated on welfare schemes and sought the help of IJU in issues confronting the AMWJU.