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PRESS must develop Credibility, says Justice AK Patnaik

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TNI Bureau: Though, the constitution of India has not specifically guaranteed Freedom of Press to the citizen of India, the Supreme Court has said that under Article 19 (1) A of the constitution , which guarantees freedom of expression includes the freedom of the press, said, senior judge of the apex court Mr. AK Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Addressing a seminar organised by National Journalist Welfare Board (NJWB) to observe the National Press Day 2012 on Nov 16, Justice Patnaik, who was the chief guest of the event said, “the freedom given to the press should be regulated by the members of the profession and must function under reasonable restriction”. He emphasized the success of media is largely dependent upon its credibility. It is therefore, the responsibility of the media to maintain credibility at all cost.

Mr. Ramahari Mishra, a senior journalist and Director of Naxatra Institute of Media Studies, said, It was an unfortunate the press suffered an unprecedented attack during internal emergency in 1975-76. The relevant protecting acts of the constitution were abrogated and unwanted censorship was clapped. However, the succeeding government restored the freedom and the supreme court subsequently gave the freedom of expression as basic structure of the constitution , which parliament cannot touch to change the basic structure. We would have to constitute a constituent assembly. Unlike India, the American constitution in its first amendment has categorically said that the parliament cannot pass no law abridging freedom of the press.

Minister of the state for Information & Public Relation and Energy, Mr. Arun Sahu, said, the press must give top priority to advancing the welfare of people and people in return will never allow interference in the press freedom.

Mr. Vaishnav Charan Parida, Member of Rajya Sabha, said quoting the Nobel laureate Mr. Amartya Sen that had there been a free press the would never have witnessed a catastrophe like the Bengal famine. The press could have not only prevented the callousness of the British government but would have indicated where the illegal food stuff were stored. The same thing happened in 1866 when the ‘Nanka Durbhikhya’ (devastating famine) visited Odisha.

While the nation and state observed the birth anniversary of Press Council of India as the National Press Day yesterday, some eminent journalists were awarded during the event held at Jayadev Bhavan. Satakadi Hota, the Editor of ‘Samay’, was awarded “Sambadika Ratna”, while Mr Puneet Nanda, Editor of the ‘Political and Business Daily’, Deepak Kumar Rath, Editor of ‘Uday India’, Santosh Pandey and A Sandeep were honoured with ‘Sambadika Gaurav Award’ at the ceremony. ‘Political and Business Daily’ Resident Editor BK Mishra received the award on behalf of Mr Puneet. ‘Ravi Narayan Mohanty Memorial Shield’ was given to Shantisnigdha Mohapatra. Ten senior journalists including Mr. Ramahari Mishra, Mr. Arun Panda, Mr. Dulal Mishra, Mr. Prashant Patnaik, Pundit Prabodh Mishra, Mr. Basant Das, Mr. Ravi Das, Mr. Subas Patnaik, Mr. Pradyush Patnaik, and Mr. Barendra Krushna Dhal were also honoured with ‘Sambadika Pension Award’ to mark the occasion yesterday.

The event was presided over by senior journalist Sanat Mishra, General Secretary of NJWB. Others, who graced the occasion were Minister Surya Narayana Patra, Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayana Jena, MLA Bijay Mohanty and senior journalist Pradyush Patnaik.

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