Press Freedom Day: ‘Desist from Being Sponsored Journalists,’ Div Com tells Scribes



World Press Freedom Day @ CUK on May 03, 2016
Prof Mehraj Ud Din addressing a function on the eve of World Press Freedom day at CUK on May 03, 2016

On the eve of world press freedom day, various functions were held in Kashmir including universities.

Two such functions were held in Central University of Kashmir (CUK) and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) on Tuesday.

At CUK, Vice-Chancellor Prof Mehraj ud Din Mir said that there are “some curbs on the freedom of press” and emphasized that “truth should always prevail” in any circumstances, a statement issued by CUK said this evening.

“The freedom of press and speech has been enshrined in the constitution of India which should be upheld at any cost,” Prof Mehraj ud Din Mir said while presiding over a function organised by the School of Media Studies and Jammu and Kashmir Press Association to celebrate the World Press Freedom day, at Nowgam-I academic block of the varsity.

Divisional Commissioner, Dr Asgar Samoon, Director Information, Muneer ul Islam, JKPA President, G H Kaloo, senior faculty member from Media Education Research Centre (MERC), University of Kashmir, Nasir Mirza besides other CUK teachers and journalists were present on the occasion.

Referring to several recent incidents wherein “certain restrictions were imposed on the media organizations”, Prof Mehraj ud Din underscored the need for providing “absolute freedom” to the media organizations to raise the genuine socio-political and other burning issues concerning the masses.

He said the press reports should always be factual and there should not be any room for misinterpretation. CUK Vice-Chancellor asked the Department of Law and Media Studies to organize a workshop, to deliberate upon the Freedom of Press in the contemporary era.

Divisional Commissioner, Dr Asgar Samoon, who was the chief guest on the occasion, asked the scribes to desist from being, what he described as “sponsored journalists.” “A journalist should be independent and always report facts,” Dr Asgar Samoon said, adding that the journalists should be more responsible and abstain from misusing the freedom of press.

He asked the journalists to comprehensively cover the issues other than politics. “The press should make efforts to make the people aware about their rights, schemes launched by the State and Centre and also about social issues confronting the people,” he added.

Recalling the chaos and horror which unfolded after some miscreants posted wrong information on social networking sites about alleged deaths due to polio vaccine in the State, Dr Samoon asked the people to use the social media with utmost responsibility and discipline.

Addressing the gathering, Director Information, Muneer ul Islam, said the journalism at present is facing several challenges. “Many media organizations have lost their credibility as many of them publish a news report without ascertaining the facts,” he said, adding that media outlets should give space to the news from sources only after verifying and further cross checking the same from other sources.

Muneer ul Islam also hailed the role of Manzoor ul Amin, the first head of the Department, MERC, for his contribution in making the professional journalists in the Valley.

Senior faculty member from Media Education Research Centre (MERC), University of Kashmir, Nasir Mirza, paid glowing tributes to all the journalists, particularly the valley based scribes, who lost their lives, while fulfilling their professional obligations.

He said that in any conflict zone, the truth becomes the causality and it’s the responsibility of the journalists to investigate and present the real situation to the masses.

DJMC-IUST Observes World Press Freedom Day

Department of Journalism and Mass communication (DJMC), Islamic University of Science and Technology observed ‘World Press freedom Day’.

On the occasion faculty members and the students deliberated on the issues pertaining to the ‘Freedom of Press’ with special references to the status of the media freedom in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On this day, they had organized a formal session discussing the history of the press regulations in the state, a statement issued by the department said this evening.

Xen PHE Awantipora; Din Mohammad Bhat

“Be it the tenure of Maharajas, Sheikh Abdullah, Ghulam Mohammad Bakshi or Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, media of Kashmir has never breathed in free air,” said Dr Ruheela Hassan.

“Curbing the media and the threats to Journalists are not new to them. The suppressing laws made and amended in one regime were implemented in other regimes. No law favouring the freedom of the press and encouraging its role has been framed yet. The press in Kashmir always had to make extra efforts to survive and grow but unfortunately their struggle is not well documented.”

Coordinator Print Journalism, Dr Rabia Noor on the occasion said, “working here is a struggle between survival and professional ethics.”

She suggested students to also explore the “alternate sources of media like web portals”. Trainees of the course also shared their experiences on this occasion that concluded with a quiz program, the statement added.


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