Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 6:
The media must serve news that is based on facts and not allow itself to be used to protect or promote personal interests, eminent journalist and BJP spokesperson MJ Akbar said at the first anniversary of leading Odia daily ‘Nirbhaya’ here on Saturday.
Speaking on the topic ‘Challenges for newcomers in the media,’ the Editor of The Sunday Times said journalists should go the field to report on an issue. “Writing news sitting in the office would not do,” he said recalling how he frequently went to the field even after he became an editor.
“Time was when news about Odisha was being written by people sitting in West Bengal. No wonder the people of Odisha did not take much note of it. But things have now changed beyond recognition and the state has got the place it deserves in the national media,” Akbar said.
Speaking on the occasion, Editor of ‘Sambad’ Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said the media should not take the ‘Fourth Estate’ tag too seriously.
“At a time when judges are seeking jobs after retirement, the media need not try to live up to the Fourth Estate tag. If it does its job honestly and sincerely, it would be automatically considered a pillar,” Patnaik said.
The ruling class and the corporate world want the truth to remain under wraps, while the reader wants only the truth, Patnaik said adding this places enormous responsibility on the media.
“In the one year of its existence, ‘Nirbhaya’ has lived up to its name. I hope that it would continue to serve news without fear as it has been doing so far,” he said.
The ‘Sambad’ editor called for fighting attempts to kill the vernacular press.
Union minister for Petroleum and Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, the chief guest, said the more a society discusses, scrutinises and criticises people’s representatives, the more developed it becomes. It is the media which subjects the people’s representatives to scrutiny on behalf of the society, he said hoping that ‘Nirbahaya’ would continue to play this role effectively.
“There is no dearth of talent in Odisha. Odias living outside the state are excelling in every field. Our inability to utilise their services has resulted in Odisha remaining backward,” the Union minister said.
Presiding over the function, Navin Das, Editor of ‘Nirbhaya’, said the three cornerstones of the newspaper are experimentation, courage and risk taking. ‘Nirbhaya’ would continue to forge ahead on the strength of the goodwill of its readers and well wishers, he said.
News editor of ‘Nirbahay’ Sambit Mohapatra conducted the function.
Shyamsundar Jaal of Gambhariguda in Dharamgarh was honoured with the Nirbhaya Gaurav award while Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Bhubaneswar was conferred with the Odisha Lok Gaurav award and Tata Steel with the Odisha Shilpa Gaurav award.
Baripada correspondent Kalyan Sinha won the award for the best political report while Kalinganagar correspondent Pradip Chand won the award for the best investigating report and Dharamgarh correspondent Chandradhwaja Lahajal bagged the award for the best social report.