Regional papers focus more on common man: H.K. Dua

Regional papers focus more on common man: H.K. Dua
Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 4
Regional newspapers are playing a greater role in nation building than the national newspapers. Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune group of newspapers, stated this while presiding over the 25th annual conference of the Haryana Union of Journalists here today.

He said the regional newspapers were closer to the common people and highlighted issues which affected them directly while the national newspapers or the newspapers published from the metro cities did not reflect the issues that touch the common people.

However, he said the problems of journalists of both national and regional media in all states were common, as they have to face many challenges to maintain the freedom of the Press. He narrated his personal experiences of Emergency in 1977 and said, “Press succumbed during Emergency under the authoritarian regime”.

Mr Dua said the freedom of the Press was not only important for free functioning of the journalists but also for the common people who deserved the right to get correct information. “Honesty and dedication towards duty of a journalist plays a great role in building a strong society or nation,” he added.

He ‘pinched’ the politicians and political system as a whole by saying, “Politicians by and large are indifferent to the problems of people”. He said Parliament as an institution had weakened in the recent years, particularly in solving the problems of the people. “Except for three or four departments, broader issues concerning all sections of society related to health, education, science, environment are never discussed seriously by the politicians,” he said.

As far as the administration at the local level was concerned, ‘it is indifferent and arrogant’, he said. Similarly, the right to justice was also beyond the reach of the poor. The process of providing justice to the people was slow and costly, he added.

Mr Dua said there was a need to refine journalism by highlighting issues related to common people and development in the field of science, education, environment, etc. The social commitment of journalists towards society was more important, he said.

Congress MP Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the mediapersons were facing many challenges in today’s environment. Without naming Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, he said the freedom of Press was being ‘pinned down’ in the state. He also said that there was lack of stories on development issues in the newspapers these days.

Veteran journalist Shyam Khosla, Resident Editor of Amar Ujala Baldev Sharma and president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of North India, Colonel Manbir Chaudhary, also expressed their views.

Mr Dua later presented Satyapal Saini award in the field of journalism to Mr Somnath Sharma of Dainik Jagran from Rohtak. Meanwhile, former president of the Haryana Union of Journalists Ashwani Dutta announced to give Rs 5,000 every year to the HUJ to set-up another state-level award for eminent journalist from Haryana in the memory of his father O.P. Dutta, who died in 1986 after serving for more than three decades in the field of journalism.

In the second session of the function, Maratha Virendra Verma, president of the Ekta Shakti, and eminent lawyer Balkishan Sharma also expressed their views on challenges before the media. Earlier, Mr Virendra Chauhan President of the HUJ highlighted the achievements of the union during his one-year tenure as president.