journalists without freedom cannot work for the greater welfare of the nation- said IJU president S N Sinha in North East Journalist Conclave-2018 held in Arunachal
By Pradeep Kumar
Free press and independent journalists are basic requirements to make India a democratic nation in true sense, Indian Journalist Union president S N Sinha said.
In his inaugural address to two-day North East Journalist Conclave-2018 at Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre here today, Sinha said that the journalists without freedom cannot work for the greater welfare of the nation and its people.
Addressing the scribes, he underscored the security of the working journalists to work with dignity by citing some example of Delhi and advocated an insurance scheme by management and employee. Moreover, it is laudable that few states including Arunachal and Haryana have introduced journalist welfare scheme in Delhi pattern.
Terming journalists of NE pillars of vibrant fourth estate, the conscience keepers of our society and the protectors of democracy & freedom with brightest minds, chief secretary Satya Gopal lauded the event, saying freedom of expression being a fundamental right, enshrined in the Constitution of India, s freedom is the life breath, the heart and soul of vibrant democracy and the very way of life of NE India, he paid tribute to all scribes for their vital roles in enriching democracy and the society.
“From smaller desks to big media rooms; from beginner free-lancers to opinion-making journalists; from traditional press & media to online channels: my whole-hearted thanks to these sentinels which are at the forefront of the defence of our freedom,” he said, adding “we re-reaffirm the vital role that a free press & free media plays in democracy by throwing light on all aspects of life, the opportunities & challenges we face and success stories etc. We acknowledge that our journalists in the NE, have been able to unravel the truth. A country can call itself democratic only if its journalists, press and media can work in a free and independent environment, acting as guardians while respecting the rule of law.”
He lauded the press persons for giving voice to the voiceless and suggested to work out a vibrant strategy to tap the untapped potentials of this region, but cautioned against fake and concocted news but follow the basic ethics of journalism. With vital role of media, it is important that journalists of print, electronic & social media adhere to a mechanism of self-conscience by evolving a universally accepted code of conduct and make and sustained efforts to achieve transformational changes in almost all facets of governance.
Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given special focus to ‘Act East Policy’, supplemented by ‘Team Arunachal’ policy of state Chief Minister Pema Khandu to make this Himalayan a vibrant part of nation building. The generous GoAP has allocated Rs. 3.5 crore for creating infrastructure of Arunachal Press Club, decided to enhance corpus fund for journalists from Rs 1 to Rs 2 crore, Rs 4 crore to complete Suchana Bhanan, Rs 5 core to build a high tech multi-purpose studio to facilitate film making, animation and other creative activities, IPR department would sign a MoU with Entertainment Society of Goa to conduct an International Tribal Film Festival here on the line of International Film Festival, Goa for which Rs 5 crore marked, the Cabinet has approved advertisement policy for faster clearance of advertisement bill which has been notified, he informed, adding a new advertisement policy was approved by the state Cabinet in January last for speedy payment of bills while the GoAP in 2017 hiked the advertisement rate by 20%.
The journalist fraternity and the GoAP have to walk hand in hand, have to collaborate and work as Team Arunachal, Team North East and Team India for achieving the goal of a New Arunachal, a New North Eastern Region and a New India, he reasoned, adding this constructive and synergetic relationship would unlock the latent potential of the NE region. However, he cautioned against fake and concocted news
Regretting that Arunachal Pradesh draws the national attention only on China or natural disaster issues, IPR secretary Sonam Chombay advocated to go for more development stories rising above the sensational story concept. The scribes could well become partners of development, he said and suggested the gathering to deliberate on how to highlight Arunachal in true sense and make the scribes development partners.