Press Club of Jammu (PCJ) today on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day have adopted a unanimous resolution seeking free movement of journalists hailing from South Asian region to the neighbouring countries including Pakistan and PoK for various reporting assignments. It is for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir that such a resolution has been adopted unanimously by the media fraternity.
Kavinder Gupta, Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, was Chief Guest and Dr Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor of Central University; Jammu was guest of honour on this occasion. Kavinder Gupta said that there is full freedom of Press in Jammu and Kashmir State as well as in the country under article 19 and word Press should not be misused while doing any assignment. He said that there is mushrooming of newspapers in the state and they should maintain high standard of journalism. Dr Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor, Central University, Jammu said that those youngsters who are adopting journalism as their profession, they should take it as passion, but not just to earn money.
KB Jandial, former Director, Information said that there is freedom for journalists to express their views, but media also should take special care of it as they cannot malign image of an individual/organisation. Jandial also shared his experiences and agreed that many times when during his service as a Bureaucrat, he was assigned the tasks to handle media, if there was any unrest, but he was very particular in his duties. Highlighting the importance of World Press Freedom Day, President of the Press Club of Jammu, Ashwani Kumar said, “Press freedom and access to information are essential to democracy and to sustainable development. Journalism helps make this so. Sometimes referred to as a “watchdog” of political and societal institutions, journalism is also much more: it demonstrates freedom of expression for society at large, it puts new questions on the development agenda, and it empowers citizens with information. It provides a context in which the diversity of cultural expressions can flourish. For all these reasons, strengthening the conditions for journalism is key to developing a culture of openness, access to information and fundamental freedoms.