National Press Day 2018 was observed in a befitting manner in Hailakandi district on Friday.
Speaking as chief guest at a function organised by the District Information and Public Relations in association with the Hailakandi Press Club at its office premises, Deputy Commissioner Adil Khan said media must focus on balanced news based on truth and knowledge in a fast-paced era of digital news.
Khan said the challenges in the digital age can be overcome when there is fair and balanced reporting based on impartiality and truth. “Journalism ethics and challenges in the age of digital era can be overcome when both sides of the story are projected to put things in proper perspectives before the viewers and audiences,” he added.
The Deputy Commissioner said the Press being the fourth pillar of democracy has a pivotal role to play and it can be a prime mover of things in society. “The social evils plaguing the society can be solved through the powerful and influential media,” he said while exhorting upon the need to maintain credibility despite odds.
Khan said the holding of this event offers opportunity to the media persons to go in for self-analysis or self-introspection as to what they can do for the greater cause of the society.
On journalism ethics, Khan said it should be self-imposed and inculcated as an internal quality guided by fairness, impartiality and truth.
The Deputy Commissioner asked the media to be watchdogs in pinpointing the foibles of the administration but at the same time to appreciate the good work done. “We are prepared to receive brickbats for doing something wrong either through omission or commission but we expect appreciation for good initiatives that will help us to inspire and motivate to do much greater work for the betterment of society,” he said, adding that media has to be partners with the government in development.
Speaking on the occasion, District Information and Public Relations Officer, Sabir Nishat said digital media has a significant and complex impact on society and combined with internet and personal computing has caused disruptive innovations in publishing, journalism, public relations, entertainment, education, commerce and politics.
Nishat said one of the solutions to tackle the post-truth phenomena in the digital era is to focus on the work of fact-checking sites that expose misinformation and promote verified information instead. “When journalists face the dilemma of whether to provide immediate but incomplete information, or belated but exhaustive, they should ponder for a while and ask themselves as what advantages does instant news offer to the viewers and who benefits from the speed of information,” he quipped.
Television reporter Nilotpol Deb said media persons must be particularly careful to verify facts in the midst of confusion about the authenticity of information published on social media ‘to avoid dilution of actual facts’.
Columnist Satananda Bhattacharjee underscored the need to maintain highest ethical standards and a commitment to the uncorrupted pursuit of truth based on verifiable facts and knowledge. He said the ethical dilemmas confronting the media persons in the digital era can be overcome if it is viewed as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
Echoing the views of the Deputy Commissioner, President of Hailakandi Press Club, Noimul Islam Choudhury, who presided over today’s function, said media persons must introspect for themselves as to the cascading effects a news report can augur for the society.
Senior journalist Amit Ranjan Deb and Secretary, Hailakandi Press Club, Rahul Chakraborty also spoke on the occasion.
The National Press Day was also observed by Lala Press Club in the newspaper premises of Anirban Sikha, which was presided over by President, Lala Press Club, Nurul Huda Choudhury. Journalists Shivaji Chatterjee, Monoj Pandey, Nurul Mazumder, Jomir Ahmed Laskar, Samim Bahar Laskar, Robi Hasan Mazumder, educationist Atiquddin Choudhury, Debasish Nath, among others, delivered speeches on this year’s theme “Journalism Ethics and Challenges in Digital Era’.