GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - �In a media industry driven by profit and propaganda, we journalists need to seriously introspect our roles, listen to our inner voice and maintain the objectivity in our reporting, which unfortunately, only a handful of journalists are doing presently.�
Tongam Rina, noted journalist and associate editor of The Arunachal Times, said this while delivering the Harendra Nath Barua Memorial Lecture at the Vivekananda Kendra here this evening.
Rina, a courageous journalist who have brought to light many wrongdoings in Arunachal Pradesh, including illegal activities in the name of development, extremism and environmental scandals, was shot by some unscrupulous elements in 2012, due to her coverage of one such scam in the State.
�Those were interesting as well as difficult times to report news with profit and propaganda calling the shots. The tragedy of our times is that we must take sides, often extreme. However, as a result, we are gradually losing our stand and credibility among the readers or viewers, especially among the younger generations,� she added.
Further outlining the tendency in the regional media of not looking beyond their immediate surroundings, she said even the regional media does not look empathetically towards the issues of each other. �On most occasions, it is the border conflicts between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which get wide coverage in the media of our States,� she said, adding, �floods in Assam make front page news in The Arunachal Times only once or twice, and not many times. Media in Assam gives prominent space to environmental threats caused by hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Mostly, it�s only the �downstream impact� that the media in Assam is interested in.�
The memorial lecture was organised as part of the 30th death anniversary of the eminent journalist, freedom fighter and social activist Asom Pran Harendra Nath Barua by the memorial trust instituted in his name.
HN Barua, a pioneer of ethical journalism in Assam, worked as an assistant editor of the journal Banhi and biweekly Asomia. Subsequently, he got associated with the Dainik Asomia, the Raij, the Natun Asamia among others. Always on alert to safeguard the interest of the State, Barua through his powerful writings highlighted several issues and concerns of the people of the State.
While remembering his role and contributions, the speakers of the memorial meet paid their rich tribute to late Barua. Nitya Bora, editor of the Asomiya Pratidin and GL Agarwala, proprietor of the GL Publications, were also felicitated on the occasion.
Noted journalist DN Chakravartty, who presided over the meeting, stressed the fact that any attempt to encroach on the territory of another State must be condemned and reported by the media without any bias. �Cordial relations between the neighbouring States cannot exist if such invasions and annexation of territories continue,� he added.