BARPETA ROAD, Nov 16 – National Press Day was celebrated centrally by the Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) here today with the IJU president SN Sinha calling for a pledge by the journalist community to uphold high standards of journalism and maintain credibility to take on the current challenges facing the profession.Addressing a big gathering at the Sahitya Sabha auditorium here, Sinha said, with profit-making becoming the motto of the newspaper groups, public interest has taken a back seat. Another challenge facing the journalists was the paid news syndrome which he said, has not only eroded the credibility of the journalists, but has also hit at the roots of democracy.
The National Press Day celebration here was observed as part of the three-day National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the IJU which began here yesterday. Nearly 80 NEC members and special invitees from all over the country including the North-eastern States, attended the programme.
IJU secretary general D Amar drew attention to the current situation in journalism where the media is going into the hands of monopolies and politicians and the contract system which has weakened journalism and even democracy. Sabina Inderjit, member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) lamented the decline in ethical journalism. Pointing out that the phenomenon was world-wide, Sabina said that the IFJ has called upon the journalist community to practise ethical journalism.
The celebration was also addressed by Manipur Parliamentary Secretary for I&PR and Minor Irrigation K Meghachandra. Foreign delegates – Shawkat Ali from Bangladesh and Rinzin Wangchuk from Bhutan also participated in the NEC meeting and National Press Day celebrations.
Earlier, Sinha also unfurled the Journalists Union of Assam (JUA) flag while the IJU secretary general led the gathering in paying tributes to the 24 journalists of Assam who were killed during the last 20 years. A photographic exhibition on Manipur was presented by Rattan Luwang. Hiranya Barman of Asom Bani also joined the exhibition.
The NEC meeting will conclude tomorrow with a field study trip to the Manas National Park.