Press clubs, DIPR observe National Press Day in Kohima, Dimapur
KOHIMA/DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 16
Along with the rest of the country, the National Press Day was observed in Kohima and Dimapur today.
The Kohima Press Club (KPC) and the Directorate of Information & Public Relations jointly organized a function to commemorate the National Press Day in the state capital. The programme was held on the theme ‘Transparency in Public Affairs: Role of the Press’.
In his address as the theme speaker, Editor of Tir Yimyim and president of Nagaland Press Association K Temjen Jamir described transparency in public affairs as a prerequisite for good governance, without which, an undesirable social and political condition would be created resulting in encouraging corruption, abuse of power, unresponsive and an insensitive government.
He observed that ‘transparency’ has become such a common word among Nagas that it appears every Naga longs for it in the dealings of the public. This, he said, is indicative of an alarming situation of moral bankruptcy in the society that demands for justice in the affairs of public administration.
“Very unfortunately in our case today, owing to the lack of transparency in public affairs, even the legislation passed in the assembly finds difficult to execute, the financial deficit keeps increasing, the size of the state government employees grows abnormally and almost all the government undertaken projects are failing,” Jamir stated.
The veteran journalist emphasized on the crucial role of the press/media in enabling the people to see the process of decision making in the government as well as the execution and management of various developmental programs and activities of the government. Keep in mind that the reporting of success stories inspire others while disclosure of failed stories alarm the public authority and reduce corruption and ultimately benefit the people, he told the gathering.
He urged journalists to rededicate themselves to the service of the people and be more proactive in gathering information about the various activities of the government so as to keep the public updated about the implementations or the lack of it, and rebuild the society. “Reach out to the most marginalized and effected groups and persons in society and highlight their conditions,” he said, adding, “in order to ensure transparency in public affairs, the press must report what they saw, not only what other people say.”
Meanwhile, Secretary for Information & Public Relations Hushili Sema exhorted the gathering that the media is a bridge between the existing government, the system and the public and it is the duty of the people in the profession to give accurate and transparent information to the people. She discouraged over-hyping of news and urged for a presentation of the truth in the larger interest of the people. At the same time, she asserted that transparency does not always mean everything should be exposed for the public as there are certain limitations and people as human beings have certain rights to privacy.
The official stated while the press fraternity in the state is still at a nascent stage when compared with other states, there is professionalism among Naga journalists and further called upon them to work with commitment so as to set a good and exemplary foundation for future journalists.
The programme was chaired by KPC president Xavier Rutsa while Pezet Newme presented a song and IPR deputy director Kevizayieno proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was attended by members of Kohima Press Club, DIPR officials and staff, and representatives of AIR and DDK among others.
The National Press Day, observed every year on the November 16, is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
In Dimapur, the media fraternity observed the National Press Day at The Press Point. The programme was organized by Dimapur Press Club.
Speaking as the main speaker, Principal of City Law College, Dimapur, P Leonard Aier underscored the message that the health of the “press fraternity” is, by extension, a reflection of the society’s health.
Aier stated that just as a healthy legal system is indicative of proper justice delivery, so is the case of a healthy press to that of the society’s.
While dwelling at length on the various legal provisions in relation to the freedom of the press vis-à-vis the freedom of speech and expression, Aier said, “Just as Noah’s Arc saved humanity, democracy is also saved by the freedom of the press.”
On the theme of the occasion, which was entitled ‘Transparency in Public Affairs: Role of the Press’, Aier cited the recent prosecution of Jayalalithaa in which the court had ruled that corruption is a violation of human rights. He encouraged the media personnel to play the role of inter-mediator between the ruled and the rulers to ensure transparency of process.
Aier also shared his observation that advertisement rates in local newspapers, especially for obituaries and felicitations, “have become too expensive.” Reasoning that business doesn’t always mean “exorbitant rates”, he suggested that the rates should be “made reasonable.”
Editor of Nagaland Page Monalisa Changkija, in her brief address, encouraged the assembled scribes to “read a lot.” Reading, she said, would help the journalists revisit the history of emergence of the fourth estate in particular, and the society in general, that would help them understand their responsibilities clearly.
She also encouraged them to “move ahead” while saying that “by no stretch of imagination I am going to say we have done a great job” as journalists. “All of us need to do a lot,” Changkija said.
DPRO Dimapur Siewatho also shared a short message encouraging the press fraternity to build good communication with the department of IPR.
DPC president Moa Longkumer delivered the welcome address while general secretary Paudi Renta proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was chaired by Akangchila Longchar.
The DPC also held its raffle draw on the day.
DPC raffle draw results
1st Prize -180
2nd Prize – 035
3rd Prize – 008
Consolation Prizes: 010; 075; 295; 208; 205