Along with the rest of the country, the National Press Day 2020 was also celebrated today at Shillong on the theme “Role of Media during the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Impact on Media”.
The function was organised by the Shillong Press Club and supported by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations.
Amidst COVID 19, this year the celebration has been restricted to virtual mediums as the chief guest James PK Sangma addresses the journalists from Delhi.
Although, other guests including Smti M. War Nongbri, Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department, B. S. Sohliya, Director, Information and Public Relations, Mr. R. M. Shabong, President, Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association, Mr. David Laitphlang, President, Shillong Press Club, Dr. Chayanika Sarma, Consultant Psychiatrist, Supercare Hospital, Shillong and members of press fraternity attended the program at Shillong club.
Addressing the gathering virtually from New Delhi, Mr. Sangma said that an independent press is an integral element of democracy and it is a key stakeholder in every form of government by virtue of its duty to inform, communicate, educate and engage the public for sustainable development and social unification. “That is why, we all know, it is the fourth pillar of democracy”, added Mr. Sangma.
Congratulating and acknowledging the immense contribution made by the media in these difficult and uncertain times in providing accurate information to the public by risking their lives during this global pandemic, Mr. Sangma underscores the importance of the media in providing reliable and accurate information about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stating that the government has always believed that the media is its accountability partner to serve the people and the state for sustainable and responsible development, Mr. Sangma urged the media to adhere to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Smti M. War Nongbri, Mr. B. S. Sohliya, Mr. David Laitphlang, and Dr. Chayanika Sarma.
The program highlights the challenges that are faced by journalists during the COVID-19 outbreak and how the media can play a vital role.
The COVID-19 has affected many areas and media is one of the worst affected sectors where many journalists lost their jobs while many faced salary deduction during this pandemic. President Shillong Press club David O Laitphlang spoke about the journalists affected due to COVID 19 pandemic.
Later, the members of the media join the webinar organised by the Press Council of India, New Delhi on the theme “Role of Media during the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Impact on Media” held at New Delhi.
Meanwhile, greeting the Media fraternity on his social media platform, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma underlined the need for independent media for a strong democracy.
“I extend my warm greetings to all the members of the media fraternity. A bold, just & independent media is essential for creating a well-informed public – a prerequisite for a strong democracy,” tweeted Conrad Sangma.