GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - Calling upon the media to maintain a close watch on the activities of the government without any prejudice or hatred, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said the four pillars of democracy must work together with sincerity and commitment to ensure the wellbeing of the people of the State.
Sonowal said this while inaugurating the goodwill tour of rural mediapersons to Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh and distributing media fellowships among journalists at a programme held in the Conference Hall of Chief Minister's Office at Janata Bhawan here today.
The Chief Minister also extended financial assistance to Media Trust, Guwahati and distributed cheques among the journalists under Journalists� Medical Welfare Scheme on the occasion.
�Journalists are the conscience of society. They have been performing their duty responsibly for the benefit of society. However, to ensure public welfare further, the legislature, judiciary, executive and the media must work together with sincerity and commitment,� he said.
Making a call for a united effort to address various social problems, Sonowal said the media plays a very significant role in developing public perception and opinion.
The Chief Minister said the State government has taken many welfare steps for the journalists as a goodwill gesture. He also urged the media to publish and broadcast news that has credibility and induce value amongst the young generation. He also appealed to the journalists to give constructive criticism on government activities and keep a close watch on its functioning. He also sought media�s support in continuing the government's fight against corruption.
�In the last three years, I have realised that the war on corruption is not easy. We have to develop a feeling of hatred against corruption,� he said.
Moreover, underlining the Prime Minister�s initiatives to build a healthy and resurgent India, Sonowal urged the media to generate more awareness about healthy lifestyle envisioned through Fit India Movement, the importance of sanitation and cleanliness, adverse effects of plastics and the importance of plantation as well as rainwater harvesting amongst the people.
Chief Minister�s Media Advisor Hrishikesh Goswami, while speaking on the occasion, said that the government is actively considering an insurance scheme for journalists. He hoped that the financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh provided to Media Trust would benefit the mediapersons.
Noted litterateur and editor of Sadin Anuradha Sharma Pujari, who is also a member of the selection committee of the media fellowship programme, thanked the State government for the initiatives that it has taken for the journalists.
She said social media produces journalists in every household today and this brings about a new challenge to the print and electronic media to be very fast and exclusive. She also urged the government to increase the media fellowship amount and appreciated the government for the complete freedom given to the committee for selection of media persons for the fellowship.
Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Information and Public Relations department, Kumar Sanjay Krishna, while delivering the welcome speech, informed that 16 journalists have been given media fellowship to carry out studies on various social issues, for which the government provides Rs 50,000 each.
He also said a team of 18 rural journalists will undertake a goodwill tour to Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh on September 8. He further informed that under Journalists Medical Welfare Scheme, this year the government has provided financial assistance to 39 journalists, besides distributing Rs 10 lakh as financial assistance to Media Trust, Guwahati.
So far, Rs 1.08 crore has been spent by the government for providing financial assistance to 264 journalists.