Independent press an integral element of democracy: James Sangma

Shillong, Nov 16: 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, Meghalaya in which James P. K. Sangma, Minister of Information and Public Relations attended the programme as the Chief Guest.

The programme was also attended by Matsiwdor War Nongbri, Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department, Batlang S. Sohliya, Director, Information and Public Relations, R. M. Shabong, President, Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association, David Laitphlang, President, Shillong Press Club, Dr. Chayanika Sarma, Consultant Psychiatrist, Supercare Hospital, Shillong and members of press fraternity.

Addressing the gathering virtually from New Delhi, 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 the purpose of sustainable development and social unification. “That is why, we all know, it is the fourth pillar of democracy”, added 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, Sangma underscores the importance of the media in providing reliable and accurate information about Covid-19 pandemic.

Stating that government has always believed that the media is its accountability partner to serve the people and the state for sustainable and responsible development, Sangma urged the media to adhere to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.

Others who spoke on the occasion were M.atsiewdor Nongbri, Batlang S. Sohliya, David Laitphlang and Dr. Chayanika Sarma.

Later, the members of the media join the webminar 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.