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Nat'l Press Day celebrated in Nagaland

Friday, 17 November 2017 11:25
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Media always remains accountable to its readers: Imtikumzuk

Mokokchung, November 16: Parliamentary Secretary for Information & Public Relations (IPR), Imtikumzuk today called upon the media fraternity in the state to carry out their duties with an unbiased attitude and report events as they are so, as to promote a healthy atmosphere in the society.

The Parliamentary Secretary was speaking as the chief guest at the National Press Day celebration at Cosmos Entertainment Hall & Restaurant, jointly organized by the Department of IPR, the Mokokchung Press Club, Kohima Press Club and Dimapur Press Club.

While dwelling on the theme, 'Upholding journalistic ethics during elections', the parliamentary secretary termed it as very aptly chosen 'since elections is around the corner'.

He said that media, which is recognized as the fourth estate, serves as 'a facilitator, protector and enabler of democratic institutions and processes'; and therefore, strongly urged the media persons to carry out their duties without any bias and report events factually so as to promote a healthy atmosphere in the society.

While underscoring the importance of media in the society, Imtikumzuk said that media must realize that it remains always accountable to its readers and viewers.

He said that the influence, credibility and quality of the local media is well recognized and has grown in scale, reach and revenues over the years.

"Its significance has further increased with higher literacy levels and the revolution in communication technologies," said Imtikumzuk while adding that it has become a powerful means for shaping the ideas, aspirations and behaviours of our people, even in the remotest corners.

In this connection, he asserted that the conduct of the media itself should be above board since the media has an important role to play in cleansing public life.

He urged for independence and integrity in the functioning of the media and at the same cautioned against sensationalizing news or events because 'careers and reputations take years to build but only minutes to demolish'.

"Sensationalism should not substitute for objective, accurate and dispassionate reporting. While opinion is free, facts should be sacred. Caution should be exercised in passing judgements, especially on matters where the due process of law is yet to be completed," said the parliamentary secretary.

In this regard, he said that the media is entrusted with an additional responsibility to 'act as a watchdog of public interest and give voice to the marginalized'.

While urging journalists to bring to public notice the array of ills and deprivations that continue to beset large number of our people, Imtikumzuk said that the media persons must 'shape and influence public opinion even as they provide objective and balanced coverage of news'.

"The power of the media should be used to reset our moral compass and promote liberalism, humanism and decency in public life," the parliamentary secretary asserted.  

Diethono Nakhro, State icon, PwDs, Nagaland speaking on the theme, "Upholding journalistic ethics during elections", said Journalists in Nagaland are doing a great job given the circumstances of a society they are operating since a place like Nagaland is unique with a close knit community and unless one has a deep nuance of understanding the history and culture, one cannot get the story right.

Nakhro reminded the gathered scribes on the importance of ethical journalism while remaining independent and neutral during election reporting and not forgetting humanity, as the stories published in the papers will impact a large section of the society.

She also asked the journalists to be the watchdog of the society and take the role seriously. She asked them to pose questions to the leaders of the state on general issues such as road, health, education and environmental issues on behalf of the general public and let them be accountable for their actions as what may be logical and honourable solution to the pressing issues for them will differ with the general public.

"We the journalists should act as the voice of the people and as the representative of the people we are tasked with a huge responsibility to make their voice heard in the upper echelon and back to the grassroots level in order to make our society flourish", the former Editor of Eastern Mirror, said.

Nakhro earlier lamented the total lack of accessibility for Persons with Disability in the state. Even in the present day she said, PwDs still live like a third class citizens. She expressed optimism that Mokokchung will soon become an inclusive town, a place without barriers for the disadvantaged group of people.

While democratic practices have been declining in many countries, the same has been rising in India said Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Vekho Vero speaking on the topic "Informed & Ethical Voting."

 He attributed the rise to the Election Commission's introduction of schemes and programmes targeting the grassroot level.

Speaking on Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) instituted by the ECI in 2009, Vero said the Department in the State has been actively campaigning to achieve the Commission's goal of informing and motivating.

 The SVEEP, he pointed was initiated to enhance, inspire and facilitate electoral participation besides analyzing electoral data for corrective measures.

Vero highlighted on the various schemes the department has been contemplating to enhance the participation of Persons with Disability in elections. He also spoke on the facilities available for Non Resident Indians besides informed election and mainstreaming of electoral literacy.

The program was followed by an interaction session where representatives of various social organization bodies participated and shared their opinions on various social issues. (Page News Service)


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