Imphal: Sanaleibak Daily bagged the largest number of awards with five out of the total eight awards being conferred by the Department of Information of Public Relations, Government of Manipur during the National Press Day observation, which was held at the Auditorium of the IPR here on Monday.
The National Press Day is observed on November 16 every year as a symbol of a free and responsible press. It was on this day the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that the press maintains high standards and is not fettered by any influence or threats.
As part of the observance, Manipur State Journalists Award was also conferred to media persons of the State in eight different categories including editorials, news items and articles published during the calendar year 2019.
Recipients of the Awards are Ningombam Hemantakumar, Editor, Sanaleibak for Best Editor award, Khagembam Shanker Singh, Sr. Reporter, Sanaleibak (Science & Technology reporting), Kshetri Meghajit, Sub-Editor, Naharolgi Thoudang (Parliamentary reporting), Ngangom Suraj Kumar Singh, Staff reporter, Sanaleibak (Reporting with Special Reference to Women and Children), Maibam Kenedy Singh, Staff reporter, Sanaleibak (Reporting on Art and Culture), Sapam Aruna Devi, Staff reporter, Sangai Express (Rural reporting), Khagembam Rabikumar Meitei, Staff reporter, Sanaleibak (Sports reporting) and Angom Ranjit Singh, Chief reporter, Poknapham (Reporting on Public Health and Hygiene).
Speaking as the Chief Guest of the function, Commissioner IPR M Joy Singh stressed on the importance of observing the day in commemoration of the establishment of the Press Council of India in 1966.
He said that the observation of the day on November 16 is symbolic of the freedom of speech bestowed on a journalist and its importance in shaping a society.
Acknowledging the media’s role in being a critic of the society in bringing a positive change to the society, Joy appealed to the journalists’ fraternity to understand their responsibility towards the society and continue to play a constructive role in the society building process.
Heisnam Balkrisna, Director IPR speaking as the president of the function, highlighted welfare measures initiated and taken up by the department this year. He said the department has increased the cash award for the Best Editor Award on National Integration and Communal Harmony to Rs. 40,000 from Rs 25,000. Furthermore,
pensions for journalists have been increased to Rs.8000 from 4000 and family pension to Rs.5000 from Rs. 2000.
He further congratulated the recipients of the Manipur State Journalist Award, 2020.
The morning session was followed by a workshop in the afternoon session on ‘Role of Media during the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on Media.’ Dr. A Ibomcha Sharma, Head of Office, Regional Outreach Bureau Imphal, moderated the workshop while Salam Chingkehinganba, Sub-editor The People’s Chronicle and member All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, Yumnam Rupachandra, Chief Editor Impact TV, and Ramkung Pamei, Editor, The Cham and president Manipur Hill Journalists Union (MHJU) presented papers as Resource Persons.
Dilip Mayengbam, former ADP/HOP AIR Imphal, also a jury member of the selection committee of the award stressed upon the necessity of analytic skills and deep research while writing on any subject like rural problems, national highways etc. by the journalists.
Mayengbam also advised the young journalists to be fair and fearless while writing and questioning the authorities. The government should encourage such writing and questions, he added.
Earlier, Joy also administered a pledge to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviours during Monday’s function which was conducted with strict observance of COVID OP. Officers and staff of DIPR, eminent media persons of the State and others attended the function.
It may be mentioned that this year a Selection Committee consisting of a panel of judges/jury members appointed by the government was also constituted for the selection of awardees. The panel of judges included experts from different fields including journalism, literature (nominated by State Kala Akademi), concerned subjects/ categories headed by a chairman.