IJU to strengthen activities for journalists’ safety

BHUBANESWAR (Odisha), Feb 12: The two-day national executive committee meeting of the Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) concluded here on Sunday with a resolution to strengthen the union’s activities for the safety and security of working journalists across India.
The meeting was hosted by the Odisha Journalists’ Union. Representatives from 19 state units of the IJU, including five states from the Northeast, participated.
In his presidential speech, IJU President SN Sinha urged the state units to be stronger and engage themselves in union activities as much as possible besides fostering unity among the working journalists.
He exhorted young journalists to participate in union activities and not allow the scribes’ organisation to weaken.
Sinha also informed that the IJU is making efforts to pressurize the Centre to come up with a Working Journalists’ Act to ensure a healthy democracy and safety of journalists.
IJU Advisor K Sreenivas Reddy outlined the importance of freedom of the press, stating that freedom of speech and expression is meant for working journalists the same way freedom of information is meant for the people.
Attending as chief guest, National Aluminium Company chairman Dr Tapan Kumar Chand urged media persons to continue disseminating unbiased information.
“Without media persons, democracy has no meaning,” he said. He appealed to the media fraternity to help in reflecting positive stories of Odisha in terms of tourism and other developmental activities.
IJU Secretary General Amar Devulapalli presented a report on the IJU’s activities. He informed that six journalists were killed last year, including two from Tripura. He also said even though the state government has promised to nab the killer of Gauri Lankesh, Editor of Kannanda Weekly, the investigation is tardy.
“The arm-twisting of the media by using the organs of the state is on the rise, and the prime example is the raids on the office and residential premises of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy,” he said.
Later, members of the state units of the IJU presented reports on the activities of the media in their states.
Presenting his state media report, Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists President Amar Sangno appealed to the IJU to pay attention to the issues being faced by journalists in the Northeast.
Shillong Press Club President David Laitphalang called upon the IJU to work on strengthening regional media. He stressed on the role of the media in the Northeast in strengthening the IJU, and urged the members to encourage and support the media in the Northeast in reflecting regional issues.
The participants later paid homage to slain journalists who perished while discharging their duties.