Media is the conscience of the society: CM
GUWAHATI, Sept 26: “Media is the conscience of the society in a democracy. Media must keep a strict watch over the functioning of the government and criticise without hesitation whenever needed. Honest reporting about the government’s shortcomings would help in delivering good governance.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while speaking as the chief guest at the programme for distributing editors’ card along with accreditation and recognition cards of Information and Public Relations Department to 160 journalists at Assam Administrative Staff College.
Urging the journalists to join hands with the government in spreading awareness against superstitious beliefs in the society, the chief minister said that building scientific temperament among the young generation must be a priority for all sections to root out evil practices based on superstitions. The young generation must be motivated to work with a sense of patriotism and belief in democratic values, he stated.
Calling on the media to write strongly whenever the government is found wanting while delivering on its commitments to the people, Sonowal said that all four pillars of the democracy must work in tandem to uphold the democratic values and only media can instil the fear in the government by creating pressure to perform. A free press is a prerequisite for a robust democracy and the government will accept the criticism and rectify its mistakes whenever pointed out by the press, he stated.
Saying that, in the advent of technological development, today’s generation expects prompt service in all spheres, Sonowal said that public representatives must carry out their duties with a sense of urgency to meet this demand of young members of the society. Press has a strong role in keeping the elected representatives on their toes and making them accountable for their responsibilities, he stated.
The chief minister also assured of full government cooperation in building a permanent campus of the Guwahati Press Club and he also said that the government would consider providing yearly financial assistance to Media Trust for carrying out its activities for the welfare of the journalists. He also said that the matter of making increased government contribution to the corpus fund of Journalist Medical Welfare Fund would be also be considered as a response to the demands of the journalist fraternity.
A book chronicling the Rajasthan journey memories of 20 member media team which was organised by Information and Public Relations Department was also released by the chief minister in today’s function. The chief minister presented a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to Media Trust.
Director of Information and Public Relations Rajib Prakash Baruah gave the welcome address in the programme informing about the various welfare schemes undertaken by the state government for the journalists of the state. Noted journalist Samudra Gupta Kashyap, President of Media Trust Prashanta Jyoti Baruah also spoke on the occasion and made several proposals to the government for the upliftment of the journalist fraternity.
Media and Legal Advisers to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami and Shantanu Bharali, MLA Bimal Bora, Rituparna Barua, Angoorlata Deka, Additional Chief Secretary of I&PR Department Kumar Sanjay Krishna were also present in the programme among others.
Meanwhile, Assam Press Correspondents’ Union (APCU) acknowledged State’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Media Advisers to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami and the DIPR for handing over a sum of Rs 10 lakh to the Media Trust, Guwahati. The APCU also pleaded for materialization of the recently announced Life Insurance Scheme for Journalists from this financial year, a communiqué said.