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‘Sambad is common man’s voice’

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Jajpur: ‘Sambad’ is not simply a newspaper, it’s a harbinger of change. Whether it is presenting unbiased news or fearless journalism, it has always discharged its responsibility. It has never compromised with its editorial policy. It has given equal weightage to news pertaining to ruling party or opposition. It has brought issues to the notice of the government through its regional editions. Known as the people’s voice, Sambad doesn’t belong to any political party or group. It is a newspaper of common people, eminent personalities present during the launching of Jajpur edition of Odisha’s No 1 newspaper opined.

The regional edition of Sambad comprising of Jajpur and Keonjhar was launched yesterday evening at Brahmani Hotel in Jajpur Road.

“When Sambad started its operations 34 years ago, it was being said that it was Congress’ newspaper. However, unbiased and fearless reportage over the years has not only won people’s trust but also has been able to become No 1. Except the editorial pages, the news presented in other pages takes no sides. The news pertaining to ruling and opposition parties have found equal importance in this newspaper,” Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said.

The attempt to get associated with people’s issues is laudable. On most occasions, important regional news doesn’t get prominence due to which several issues do not come to the notice of the government. If the issues find place in state pages, the issues would be resolved expeditiously, Mishra stressed.

“A revolution had begun in Odisha media industry after Sambad’s inception in 1984. It not only broke the shackles of conventional journalism but also started the trend of professional journalism. For this, it has become the most popular and No 1 newspaper in state. Hawkers as well as rural reporters played a pivotal role in this journey,” Health and I&PR Minister Pratap Kumar Jena said.

In the initial days, Sambad had faced much criticism. Now, its history and the widely-read newspaper has become people’s voice. There are two reasons to it. Firstly, it has been disseminating news ahead of others. Secondly, it has brought issues concerning common man to the fore prompting the government to act on it, BJP leader Pradeep Purohit said.

Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satapathy said: “The edition would bring the issues in Jajpur and Keonjhar to the notice of the district administrations.”

Ollywood actor-turned-politician Akash Das Nayak in his address said, “The newspapers shouldn’t publish negative reports. Rather it should publish inspiring news. There are many role models in the society who have immense contribution to the society. If reports about them are published, it would inspire many.”

“While the newspaper industry is currently going through difficult times, the decision to launch Jajpur edition is a bold act. There is a compulsion behind it. People are now-a-days so much interested to keep abreast of what’s happening in their locality that there is no option than to launch an edition,” Sambad Editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said in his address.

Referring to credibility of newspapers, Patnaik said: “Political parties, chief ministers and prime minister are trying to gain control over newspaper houses. For this, they aren’t even hesitating to use money and legal powers. This won’t be able to suppress the voice of people in longer run. Truth will surface some day. So, the people in power should accept independent voices.”

On this occasion, Padmashree Tulasi Munda, writer Ramachandra Behera, sprinter Dutee Chand, dancer Maguni Kuanr, President awarded Sarpanch Annapurna Dehury, social activist Kiran Shankar Sahu, Buddhist researcher Dr Nrusingh Charan Sahu among others were felicitated.

Several awardees failed to make it to the event for which their kin represented them on their behalf. The eminent persons are: world-renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda, mountaineer Swarnalata Dalai and litterateur Achyutananda Pati.

A special issue of the newspaper was released on this occasion.

Sambad’s Managing Director Monica Nayyar Patnaik, DGM (News) Bhabani Shankar Tripathi, CGM (News) Arabinda Das, Jajpur District Correspondent Sangram Singh, Editor (Features) Dr Gourahari Das, Editor (Editorial Page) Ranjit Guru, COO Kamalakanta Mohapatra, DGM (HR) Baijayanti Kar, Editor (Publications division) Asit Mohanty, Ama Odisha (Co-ordinator) Swaraj Mishra, Sambad Sahitya Ghara state coordinator Subhashree Lenka, Jajpur AGM (News) Dr Pradeep Mohapatra, Cuttack edition manager Sushil Pradhan and other senior members of the Sambad Group were present on the occasion.