National Press Day

Free press an integral part of healthy democracy: CM

ITANAGAR, Nov 15: A free press is an integral part of a healthy democracy and the state government is committed to ensure the safety, security and prosperity of the media persons and media houses of the state, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu.

Extending best wishes and greetings to the press community of Arunachal on the occasion of the National Press Day (NPD), which is observed every year on 16 November, Khandu acknowledged the hardships and the risks involved in the profession the world over, especially in a remote state like Arunachal. He hailed the state’s media community for going about their duties professionally, without fear or favour.

“Compared to other states, our media fraternity is still evolving. I can proudly say that, despite financial and other pressures, the media of the state – both print and electronic – have been relentlessly working to inform and inspire the people. This is an opportune moment for me to thank them on behalf of the people of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said in a message ahead of the NPD.

The chief minister lauded the state-based media houses for the role they played during the pandemic.

He noted that, despite closing down of offices and the press during the lockdowns, the journalists of the state did not shy away from their duties. “The information on Covid-19 offered to the people by the press is praiseworthy and immensely helped the government in combating the spread of the virus as well as misinformation,” he observed.

“I congratulate our press fraternity for celebrating NPD in these Covid times with all precautions in place, with the theme ‘Words, visuals and its impact on journalistic content’. I have full confidence that, with eminent speakers and participation of veterans, the young and upcoming brigade of journalists would learn and master the art of putting the right words and visuals in compiling a story, so that it benefits all and hurts none,” Khandu said.

The chief minister paid rich tributes to veteran journalist Taro Chatung, who passed away a year ago. He also remembered the contributions of all former and veteran journalists of the state, including late V Ravindran, who nurtured and helped the growth of journalism in Arunachal during its formative years.

The Press Council of India, a statutory body responsible for governing the conduct of the print media and ensuring freedom of speech, was established on 4 July, 1966, by Parliament and officially started working on 16 November of the same year. Since then, the day is celebrated as the National Press Day.

Governor BD Mishra also extended his warm wishes to the media community of the state.

In his message, the governor said that media plays a vital role in dissemination of information to people based on facts and truth.

“Committed to its social responsibility towards the people and our nation, and being proactive partners in developmental programmes, the media must motivate people to work towards a just and corruption-free society and promote development of the nation,” he said in his message.

Legislative Assembly Speaker Pasang D Sona also extended greetings to the press community of the state on the occasion of NPD.

“I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to all the members of the media fraternity of the state. I believe that the occasion will motivate them to be more responsive, more responsible and proactive in their services,” the speaker stated in his message.

Commending the media persons for being actively involved in reporting during the coronavirus pandemic, putting their own lives at risk, the speaker exuded hope that they would “continue with their excellent tradition of constructive journalism, displaying highest standards of professionalism in their duties.” (CM’s & Speaker’s PR Cells and PTI)