National Press Day celebrated
NAMSAI, Nov 17: National Press Day (NPD) was celebrated here on 16 November with the participants remembering the contributions of late Taro Chatung and V Ravindran Nair.
The event was organised by the Arunachal Press Club in collaboration with the directorate of information & public relations, and was supported by the Namsai district administration.
Addressing the journalists, Chief Minister Pema Khandu urged them to partner with the state government to achieve its developmental goals.
Responding to a memorandum submitted by various media organisations, he said he would approach the information & broadcasting ministry to name the film and television institute in Itanagar after veteran journalist Taro Chatung, who passed away on 26 October.
The media bodies also requested the government to frame an advertisement policy for the electronic media, besides enhancing the government advertisement rates.
Underscoring the media’s vital role in generating a democratic culture that
extends beyond the political system and becomes engrained in the public consciousness over time, the CM said “the media also serve as watchdogs that people rely on for uncovering errors and wrongdoings by those who have power.”
Stating that transparency is another important promise of his government, Khandu said “transparency in governance can be maintained only when the media is proactive and vibrant.”
Khandu was also the first CM in recent times to sit through the entire proceedings of the annual Chief Minister’s Running Trophy Debate Competition. The competition was jointly won by the teams of Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, and St Claret College (SCC), Ziro. This is the third consecutive win for the SCC team.
The CM along with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and media functionaries also released the NPD magazine, Bugle, during the event.
Mein in his address highlighted the state government’s schemes for the welfare of the media persons, and assured to extend all possible help to the media community.
Terming media the “fourth wheel of democracy,” Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao in his address said that “without media, there will be an imbalance in democracy.” He also requested the CM to provide fund for arranging exposure and media advocacy tours for the state’s journalists to foreign countries.
Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists President Amar Sangno in his keynote address said “commercialization of news, rise of fake news, and insensitivity towards the truth is eroding the fourth pillar,” and termed them a serious threat to democracy.
Sangno appealed to the government to come up with a regulatory body in the state without hurting the fundamental principle of freedom of the press.
IPR Director Obang Tayeng while welcoming the people to the NPD celebration said “the National Press Day celebration is a celebration of democracy.”
He said the objective of celebrating NPD at district headquarters is to sensitize people to the role and importance of the media.
As per tradition, the press community awarded the V Ravindran Award for Excellence in Journalism (Print) to three journalists. This year the awards were won by Lijo Karlo (published in The Arunachal Times) in the ‘human interest’ category for his story ‘Why stigma is a greater disease’; Nellie Manpoong (The Arunachal Times) in the ‘politics & governance’ category for her story ‘Govt tight-lipped on JHPC’s PRC recommendations’; and Talar Yuto (The Arunachal Pioneer) in the ‘investigative journalism’ category for his story ‘Potential tourist hotspot Naksha Parvat cries for attention’.
This year the press community introduced another award for electronic media persons, called the Taro Chatung Award for Excellence in Electronic Media, as a tribute to the late pioneer of electronic media in the state.
The first edition of the awards were won by Raj Pradhan (Itanagar News) in the ‘human interest’ category for his story ‘Binum Taba – First female tempo driver; Yuvraj Mehta (Aaj Tak) in the ‘politics & governance’ category for his story ‘PRC issue: Violence in Itanagar’; and Sange Droma Bodoi (Arunachal Today) in the ‘investigative journalism’ category for her story ‘Chowkham post office scandal’.
Dr Rapten (Dorjee Tashi) of Rama Camp (West Kameng) was awarded the ‘outstanding achiever’ title for treating free of cost more than 15,000 patients in a span of two years through his indigenous knowledge acquired through training in naturopathy in Sikkim and Vietnam. He is known for his unique ‘spoon therapy’, which he applies on patients suffering from gastric issues.
Among others, legislators Chow Zignu Namchoom, Jummum Ete Deori and Karikho Kri, officers of the district administration, the chief engineers of the eastern zone, HoDs, CBO leaders, senior citizens, and students attended the event.
Incidentally, the NPD celebration became the first event to be hosted at the newly constructed state-of-the-art multipurpose cultural hall here, which was inaugurated by the chief minister in the morning of the event. (With CMO input)