The Kohima Press Club (KPC) has successfully organized this year’s National Press Day on November 16, 2020, at Hotel Japfu, Kohima. The theme for this year’s is “Role of Media During Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Media.” The topic is quite relevant as far as media role during the pandemic is concerned.
KPC’s organizing of a “Panel Discussion” during the observance of the National Press Day is significant. It is the first time that the Club has organized it. But the most important chapter that the members of the Club would, probably, take is the panelists are from amongst them. It is an in-house discussion where the members will not only listen to their experiences but also ideas that will come along to cope with the growing complicated world and the profession they had chosen – the journalist.
The idea of having a Media Seminar or a Panel Discussion on Media within the fraternity had been going on for quite some time. The idea is to have any member from amongst them to be panelist, no senior, no junior, and have the discussion in a free and frank manner. It is to listen to them, and let them listen to members present. It is to share the knowledge you gained through years of working in the field of journalism and then educate one another through the interaction and finally come to a modality that will be a bible to all. This can only happen when you provide a platform – “The Panel Discussion” and that is by the members, for the members, and of the members. So finally, the idea was brought up in the last GBM of the Club and the members were mostly thrilled that it would be translated into action by organizing a ‘Panel Discussion’ amongst them during the observance of the National Press Day.
The dream was finally fulfilled on the day the National Press Day 2020 was observed on November 16, 2020, at Hotel Japfu, Kohima by having the “Panel Discussion” with five panelists drawn up from amongst the members of the Club. They are two ex-Presidents of KPC, Mr. Kopelo (Kops) Krome, H Chishi and Narayan Bahadur, PTI correspondent, Emilo K Konyak, Nagaland Post correspondent, and Vibi Shophie, Morung Express correspondent. Listening to them speaking about their journeys as a journalist, we could see the vulnerability in them but that, without doubt, made them determined to be on the right track. Moderator was a noted poet, Vishu Rita Krocha, who is also a member of the Club.
There was a feeling of pain, acrimony in their journeys but at times, I would see that there was hardly any with whom they could share. They had to bear the unbearable as threats and intimidations started knocking them quite often and that failed them, sometimes, to focus on their writing. That is where we have come to realize that there is a necessity to create an environment conducive for them to work, and it is possible. In the end, every one of them has vowed to live with it throughout their lives, and journalist is a beautiful profession, indeed.
The gap between the senior and the junior has been dramatically removed by the kind of in-house panel discussion. The idea of KPC leaders is a masterstroke.
“KPC Impact Journalism 2020” awards were also given to TV journalist Sarah Naam and freelance journalist Atono Tsiikrii Kense in recognition of positive journalistic work during the pandemic. Also, Krocha was adjudged the winner of the article writing competition while Zhovezo Resu winner of the photography competition. Hope, KPC Impact Journalism will become a regular feature.
In previous years, the National Press Day was jointly observed with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Nagaland. This year, the three Press Clubs – Kohima Press Club, Dimapur Press Club, and Mokokchung Press Club – have observed the event separately in their respective places without DIPR. It was because of the Covid pandemic.
KPC has grown bigger and bigger with more members joining it. It is the oldest Club in the State. It is also privileged to be at the State capital, Kohima.
Oken Jeet Sandham
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