Port Blair, July 18: "The role of private media here has been augmenting day by day and it serves as a vigilant watchdog of the society in these islands. It creates awareness among the people regarding their rights and duties. Media today has become central to politics and public life and it should promote involvement of people in policy decisions of the government," observed the Member of Parliament," Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray. He was addressing a day-long conference organised by the Andaman and Nicobar Media Federation (ANMF) on the role of private media in these islands on July 16, 2018. Padmashree awardee and ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission, A & N Islands, Mr. Naresh Chander Lall was the guest of honour, while representatives from various political parties, social organisations, journalists attended the conference.
Appreciating the active role of the private media in these islands, Mr Ray said that the media here always kept the administration alert on issues relating to public interest. "As the Member of Parliament, I credit the private media here which always kept highlighting my works for the community. In my opinion, there should be regular interaction between the administration and the media so that the masses are kept informed about the developmental initiatives undertaken by the government. The media should bring the truth before public. The media has all the right to criticize a public figure or an organization, but it should be based on facts. Moreover, the media should refrain from publishing reports that can derail the development initiatives of the government," said the Member of Parliament assuring all support to media organizations in their endeavours. Mr. Naresh Chandra Lall said that private media here has been playing an important role covering all spheres in these islands. It also played an important role in giving platform to the artists and not only encouraged artists, but also presented their talent to everyone.
The general secretary of ANMF, Mr. Sanjib Kumar Roy said that the media here is playing the role of the opposition. The work of the media is to inform the administration about public affairs and highlight problems faced by the society. It's the local media here which reports about serious crimes like rape, suicide, POCSO violations etc whereas the government run daily tries to veil flaws on the part of the government authorities," he said. A discussion session was organised in the second phase of the conference. In addition to the leaders of the major political parties of the archipelago, people from Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other areas also expressed their views on the role of media in the archipelago.
The president of Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma lauded ANMF for organising such a conference for the first time in these islands. "This kind of conference should be organized from time to time. With the advent of social media, there has been a lot of challenges before the print media. Regardless, the media of its archipelago is doing its job without any discrimination," he said assuring financial support to the local media through advertisements from the Andaman Nicobar State Co-operative Bank. Mr. Sanjay Meshack, convener of Aam Aadmi Party, A & N Islands, said that the media is doing commendable work in the archipelago. "It has brought the truth from time to time. Journalists should always publish the news on the basis of truth and facts before the islanders."
The Principal of JNRM, Dr. N Francis Xavier, former Municipal Chairperson, Smt. Sheela Singh, Deputy Director of PIB, Port Blair, Mr. Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor, Dr. S Ganesan, Regional Director, IGNOU, Port Blair, Smt Rubina Siddiqui, Smt Kiran Tigga, Mr. Suderendra Dahladka of Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Subir Chander etc. also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the president of ANMF, Mr. K Ganeshan highlighted the role of media and journalists in the Isles. He also raised many issues related to journalists and the media world. Journalists here have never lagged behind in raising local issues and strived to provide information related to the new path and development of the society, he added.
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