‘Enact a law to protect journalists from attacks’
Minister for Municipalities and Local bodies, and Haj and Wakf Qamar-ul Islam has said that the media acts as a bridge between the government and the people.
The Minister was speaking after inaugurating the Press Day celebrations here on Sunday. He presented the annual awards instituted by the Gulbarga unit of the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) at the function.
Mr. Islam said that it is almost impossible to ensure that the benefits of government schemes reach the people without the help of the media.
Journalists have the social responsibility to report accurately the happenings in the world for the benefit of the people, he added.
Minister of State for Medical Education Sharanprakash Patil appreciated the KUWJ for instituting awards for journalists. He said that recognition to journalists working in rural areas would encourage them to discharge their duties more effectively. He opined that journalism should not be taken up as a profession but rather as social work to protect the interests of the people. Journalists should be socially responsible and work for people’s welfare and should not succumb to any pressures.
State unit president of the KUWJ Gangadhar Mudaliar spoke. Earlier, Journalists and photo journalists Jayatheerth Kagalkar, M.P. Ramarao, Nagayya Swamy, D.M. Patil, Girish Kulkarni, Arunkumar Kulkarni, Mohammad Majeed Ali, Ramesh Bhat and Nagaraj Chinagudi were presented awards. Senior journalist Srinivas Sirnoorkar, who was selected for the V.N. Kagalkar Lifetime Achievement Award, was not present. KUWJ president Baburao Yedrami said that the award to Mr. Sirnoorkar would be presented later.
Journalists are under threat from vested interests across the globe. Government agencies should take steps to protect them, Vadiraj Vyasmudra, chief of bureau of Vijaya Vani , said in Bidar on Sunday.
He was delivering a special lecture during the Press Day celebrations organised by the district unit of the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists.
I have seen that in several cases of attack on journalists, there is a lot of hype created, but there is no action. The police come under political pressure and the offenders go scot free. To avoid such incidents, the government should enact a law to protect journalists from attacks, on the lines of Acts passed to protect government doctors, he said.
He pointed out that successive governments had assured accident insurance facilities to journalists, but the promises were not fulfilled. The government should include journalists under the beneficiary group under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana or Yashaswini or Vajpayee Arogyashree scheme, he added.
He urged the union government to ensure job security and increased wages to journalists. He also urged the State government to support local publications by issuing regular advertisements. “The contribution of local newspapers is important as they serve as informal training academies to young journalists,” Mr. Vyasamudra said.
The former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, MP, urged journalists to create awareness about government welfare schemes. He said that the Food Security Ordinance would be ratified in the Lok Sabha session that starts on August 5.
Chandrappa Patil, a farmer who donated land for Media Bhavan in Aurad; Shivasharanappa Wali, Mohre Hanumanthrao award winner; and Malappa Adasare, Karnataka State Media Academy member were felicitated.
Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli and Rajshekar Patil, MLAs, spoke. Sidramayya Swamy, KUWJ district president, was present.