The India Post, LUDHIANA AUGUST 31:The Punjab Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Journalists to discharge their duties with a sense of utmost responsibility, professional commitment and sincerity because the major segment of the society reposed full faith and confidence in their news reports.
Presiding over the 6th Annual Meet of Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) here at Punjab Agricultural University after releasing the Insurance policy for its members amounting to Rs.28.10 crore, Mr. Badal said that it was the bounden duty on the part of journalists to carry out balanced and fair reporting with an element of objectivity. He however, cautioned the journalist fraternity that the unfair and biased reporting was not only detrimental to the society but also eroded the very confidence of the trustworthy readers.
Reiterating his firm resolves to preserve the freedom of the Press, Mr. Badal said that the SAD-BJP government sincerely respected its right to act as the Fourth Estate of the country’s democratic polity. He also mentioned the role of Shiromani Akali Dal for the protection of people’s rights and the freedom of press during the dark days of emergency. He sought whole-hearted cooperation from the media to usher in an era of over all development and prosperity to fulfill the aspirations of people of the State.
Responding to the demands put forth by the CPUJ, Mr. Badal assured the members of the union of fulsome support and cooperation on behalf of the State Government. He asked the Information & Public Relations Minister to examine all the demands raised by the CPUJ with regard to allotment of land for Housing Societies, setting up of Institute of Mass Communication at Mohali, pension scheme and welfare fund for journalists besides enhancing the limit of free bus facility from existing Rs.1200 per annum to Rs.2500 per annum to cover all accredited/desk and veteran journalists. He also announced a grant of Rs.11 lac for CPUJ to undertake various welfare activities for the media persons. He also invited the executive members of CPUJ at Chandigarh to hold detailed discussions on the issues raised by them with the officers of the concerned departments.
Speaking on the occasion, Information & Public Relations Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia asked the media to abide by the code of ethics to ensure the spirit of professionalism in true spirit because they were expected of to play a pivotal role in the society as opinion makers. He stressed on the need to have a holistic view on all the subject matters involved in the reporting in general but the sensitive one in particular. “People still hold journalists in high esteem due to their unflinching trust and confidence reposed in them and ensure that they were not betraying their trust by undermining the role of press. Media should strive hard to live up to their expectations", said Mr. Majithia. He stated that the Punjab government would soon announce a comprehensive media policy to resolve all the issues and demands relating to the welfare of the media persons.
On the occasion, Mr.Majithia released a souvenir of CPUJ and presented mementos to the members of the Union. Earlier, the Chief Minister also lighted a lamp to mark the inaugural of the function.
In his keynote address President Indian Journalist Union (IJU) Suresh Akhori briefly highlighted the activities of IJU that was associated with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The IJU had a special significance amongst the journalists at the international level as one of its senior functionary Ms Sabina Inderjit, represented the whole of Asia in the IFJ.
In his welcome address, President of CPUJ, Mr. Vinod Kohli said that the CPUJ had emerged as the biggest representative body of newspersons in the region. With its presence even in smaller towns of Punjab over a strengthen of 1000, it takes care of the interest of journalists of both print and electronic media. He appreciated the role of Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Harcharan Bains for making this function a grand success and hoped of this support and cooperation in future also.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabharia, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains, Member, Press Council of India SN Sinha, Secretary IJU Madan Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda. The members of the media both electronic and print from all over the state attended the meeting.