BHUBANESWAR: Free press is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy and hence, media persons should be perceived as advisors, not as detractors, opined Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan.
Speaking at an event organised by National Journalist Welfare Board (NJWB) to mark the National Press Day here on Saturday, Pradhan said constructive criticism by media strengthens the democracy and the political system.
“Media persons and media owners are two different groups. Though the owners have become a part of the system after being elected as an MP or MLA, journalists working in their organisations have never forgot to leave their mark of unbiasedness. Many have lost their jobs, but they have not compromised with their integrity,” he maintained.
State Information and Public Relations Minister Raghunandan Das recalled the contributions of some great newsmen and advised the current generation of journalists to follow their footsteps.
Editors of eight newspapers were conferred with ‘Rashtriya Sambadika Gourav Samman’ and it was decided to provide pension to 27 senior accredited journalists, aged above 65 years.
Among others, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi, State Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, NJWB president Pradosh Patnaik and vice-president Pradyumna Kumar Mohanty also spoke.
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