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National Press Day observed across State

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DIBRUGARH, Nov 16 - The district administration in collaboration with the Dibrugarh Press Club and Greater Dibrugarh Press Club here jointly observed the National Press Day at the district training hall of the office of the Deputy Commissioner on Monday.

The day was marked with a talk on �impact of COVID-19 contagion on media and role of media during pandemic times�. The talk session was inaugurated by Additional Deputy Commissioner Deepu Kumar Deka.

Acknowledging the fact that the pandemic has posed a serious challenge to the media fraternity, ADC Deka in his inaugural speech said that the media is still playing a crucial role in containing the spread of the coronavirus. Media has not stepped back and journalistic practices continue despite the hostile situation, he said.

Dr Chandan Kumar Sharma, Head of the Department of History, Dibrugarh University, who attended the programme as its guest speaker, spoke on the �impact of COVID-19 contagion on media and on role of media during pandemic times�. Manjit Borah, secretary, Dibrugarh District Journalists� Association (DDJA), Anil Podder, secretary, Dibrugarh Press Club, Ratul Buragohain, secretary, Greater Dibrugarh Press Club and Sarat Neog, senior journalist of the city, also spoke on the significance of the day and shared their thoughts on the prevailing situations.

Silchar Staff Correspondent adds: Appreciating the role played by each mediaperson in the fight against the COVID-19 through their responsible reporting in trying circumstances, the Cachar district administration extended warm felicitation to scribes of the district on the occasion of the National Press Day.

At a meeting held at her conference hall, Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli greeted the press persons and said, �The media and journalists play a phenomenal role in communicating the issues before the society. The progressive steps are being highlighted by the media which acts as the eyes and ears and bridges the gap between the government and the people. The COVID-19 has been a testing time for the reporters and journalists and all those associated with the profession and I salute each one for his and her selfless rendering of services.�

A one-minute silence in memory of the scribes Sanath Kumar Koiri, Ashim Dutta (being affected by COVID-19) and Pijush Kanti Das who died during the pandemic was observed by everyone in the meeting, including Deputy Inspector General of Police (SR) Dilip Kumar Dey, SP Cachar Bhanwar Lal Meena and DFO Sunnydeo Choudhury. ADC Rajib Roy narrated the objective of the meeting and relevance of the day in the context of setting up of the Press Council of India.

As many as 25 scribes representing local, State and national level media houses were felicitated by the deputy commissioner, DIG (SR) superintendent of police and DFO with a notebook and pen as a token of appreciation.

On the other hand, a similar function was organised by Karimganj district administration to appreciate the role and responsibility of journalists on the occasion. As many as 58 journalists were feted by Deputy Commissioner Anbamuthan MP and other dignitaries on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, DIG Dilip Kumar Dey said, �There have been multiple issues to confront, including the COVID-19, Assam-Mizoram tension, communal disturbances and other forms of crime. But in all such critical circumstances, the press in the Barak Valley and also in the hill district of Dima Hasao has done very active, independent and judicious reporting and their proactive role in handling different situations at times from the front led to fruitful achievements and added positive dimensions in the ambit of law and order issues as well.�

Cachar SP Bhanwar Lal Meena wished the mediapersons and said the role of media is the most important in the recent times. DFO Sunnydeo Choudhury lauded the efforts of the mediapersons for their insistence to ground reporting.

Later, in an interactive session with the deputy commissioner, senior journalist Uttam Kumar Saha, on behalf of the journalists, shared views saying that amid the challenging circumstances, timely and authentic exchange of information from the government machineries, including the administration and police, acted as a positive mechanism in reporting. The media fraternity urged upon the administration and police for intensifying the pace of information sharing for the larger interest.

Office of the Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations, Barak Valley zone, district administration in association with Silchar Press Club organised a discussion on the role of media during the COVID-19 and its impact on media. Scribes who have fought with the COVID-19 and recovered were felicitated on the occasion.

Dhemaji Correspondent adds: The National Press Day was observed with meeting and felicitation to working journalists in Dhemaji district.

Chairing the meeting at Dhemaji, Deputy Commissioner Narsing Pawar appreciated the pro-active role of the mediapersons in highlighting the events and developmental efforts of the activities. He also felicitated local mediapersons with �Appreciation Certificates� in presence of Dhemaji SP Dr D Ghanwat and other dignitaries.

On the occasion, senior journalists Govinda Medok (retired professor) and Umesh Chetiya (literary pensioner) were paid special honour by the organisers.

At Jonai, the day was celebrated under the joint aegis of the subdivisional administration and Information and Public Relation Department at SDO office conference hall.

Addressing the reporters on the occasion, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Jonai SDO in-charge Jimlee Saikia Kakoty termed the media role as �indispensable� in restraining the COVID-19 pandemic. Stating that working journalists are not only a mirror, but also the soul of the society, Saikia said that the journalists work to focus the events and other information defying all the risk.

Altogether, 10 mediapersons belonging to different media houses were honoured on the occasion.

Bongaigaon Correspondent adds: The National Press Day was observed here on Monday. Educationist Dr BL Sharma delivered a speech at the seminar on the �The role of media in COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on media�.

The seminar was organised jointly by the district administration and District Information Public Relation Office, Bongaigaon, at the Deputy Commissioner�s conference hall here in connection with the celebration of the National Press Day.

�Mediapersons have to suffer professional and health hazards due to the impact of the pandemic which has already made many jobless and number of small media houses to close their services,� Dr Sharma added.

Resource person and Joint Director of Health and Services Dr Nil Madhab Das, talking on the topic, said that at present only five patients having mild and moderate Covid symptoms have been under medical care at Bongaigaon Civil Hospital and total 28 active cases have been recorded in the district within past 24 hours. The infection rate of the pandemic is currently on decreasing trend in the district, Dr Das added.

Bongaigaon district surveillance officer Dr B Sarkar, Greater Bongaigaon Press Club president Sujit Kumar Ray also spoke on the occasion.

Rangiya Correspondent adds: The National Press Day was observed here at SDO Civil Office on Monday with a daylong programme under the auspices of Rangiya civil administration.

SDO (Civil) Swapneel Paul welcomed all the scribes and extended his warm wishes on the occasion. He highlighted the role of media amid COVID-19 outbreak. An interactive session was also organised with the SDO, during which he assured to implement various public welfare works and urged the media support.

Earlier, the mediapersons were felicitated by the SDO on behalf of the local administration. Election Officer Hridoy Kr Das, SDIPRO Hemanta Sarma, besides other government officials and staff, were also present.

Hailakandi Correspondent adds: The National Press Day was observed in a befitting manner maintaining all COVID-19 protocols here on Monday under the joint auspices of district administration and District Information and Public Relations Office in collaboration with the Press Club.

Speaking as a chief guest at a function, Deputy Commissioner Megh Nidhi Dahal said that the media has been playing a crucial role since the days of the Freedom Movement when it brought to the masses the message of the underground movement leaders and created a revolutionary zeal and patriotic fervour down to the COVID-19 pandemic situation despite several challenges confronted by it.

Advocating for a free and independent press without any threat or under any influence, Dahal said that the greatest weapon or a shield the press has in its arsenal is its credibility. �Objectivity, free and fair and unbiased reporting determine the credibility of a newspaper or a news channel and that has to be maintained in a vibrant democracy like ours,� said Dahal, adding that in the long run, credibility counts rather than TRP rating and lopsided reporting.

�Trustworthy news is vital in particular when conveying personal risk and government mandated guidelines. After all, how the media portray health crises is an important influence not only on public behaviour but also on the long term repercussions for health,� DIPRO Sabir Nishat said.

Editor of Nababarta Prasanga, Habibur Rahman Choudhury, in his keynote address, said that the press has played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. �Whether it be the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, flood or natural calamities, the media has all along been playing a pivotal role,� he said.

Narrating the ordeal faced by the print media during the COVID-19 pandemic following slump in advertisement, Rahman called upon the government to extend patronage to the newspapers by way of advertisements.

Doomdooma correspondent adds: The Tinsukia district administration in association with the District Information and Public Relation Department, Tinsukia, observed the National Press Day to commemorate establishment of Press Council of India on November 16, 1966, at the conference hall of Tinsukia DC office. Journalists from across Tinsukia district participated in the programme. A similar programme was also organised at Margherita and Sadiya under the aegis of respective subdivisional officers (Civil).

The programme was chaired by Diganta Saikia , Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia district, while Dr Madan Sarma, an eminent educationist, former Dean of Tezpur University and former journalist delivered a lecture on �Role of media during COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on media�.

In his speech, Dr Sarma laid stresses on ethics of journalism. He was critical about fabricated and biased stories being circulated in social and portal media while questioning qualification and responsibility of these journalists.

The programme began with tribute to journalist Parag Bhuyan by observing a one-minute silence. Earlier, Bhaskar Jyoti Borah, DIPR in-charge of Tinsukia, presented a brief note on the significance of the day.

The Tinsukia DC was felicitated by Tinsukia District Journalists� Association (TDJA) and APCU on the occasion. Senior journalist and journalist pensioner Amulya Khatoniar, TDJA president Dr Rishi Das, APCU Tinsukia district committee president Robin Moran also spoke on the occasion.

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