Media, both electronic and print, constitute an important component in a democracy and is rightly referred to as the fourth pillar of democracy. While the freedom of press can by no means be under-estimated, everyone associated with it must also appreciate that this right is not for granted. This was stated by a renowned journalist, Mr. Sidhu Damdami during his visit to the Punjab Agricultural University, today to take part in the discussion on National Press Day in the Centre for Communication and International Linkages. He said that the National Press Day is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of a self regulatory mechanism that is symbolic of the conviction with which the freedom of the press is cherished. He added that the World Wide Web and internet working have opened up vast vistas of information globally. He, however, emphasized that the role of a journalist is both responsive and responsible. He said that the cop like behaviour of journalists can put their integrity at stake. The one's operating within the framework of professional ethics and responsible actions are commanding respect in society, highlighted Mr. Damdami. He said that there is no danger to any language that is being in use. To keep the language in use is a challenge, he observed.
Mr. Damdami appreciated PAU for projecting the message of agricultural development to the masses in mother tongue Punjabi through electronic and print media. This gave PAU a distinction over the traditional Universities in generating the impact through popularizing farm technologies in regional language, observed Mr. Damdami. Mr. Baljit Singh Brar, Managing Editor, Daily Ajj Di Awaj, Jalandhar said that the common man's feeling must be projected in right perspective and added that it is generally complained that whatever is being reported has the common man's concern missing. He said that the developmental journalism is the need of the hour to project what developmental activities benevolent to society are undertaken. Mr.Brar said that whatever was needed is self introspection. He was all praise for PAU scientists who wrote articles of great relevance to farming and farmers of the state in pro-active manner.
Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication said that 'shabad' was honoured right from the time of Rig Vedas that became a vehicle of developmental communication to the masses. Punjab is the land that acted as a torch bearer of different professions, be it grammer (Rishi Panini), politics (Chanakya), economics (Kautaliya), music (Sam Ved), medicine (Ayurved), etc. to the rest of the world and observed that the worth of the land demands a positive role by all those connected with media. He presented a set of publications to the journalists.
In his remarks, Mr. Gurbhajan Gill, Editor Changi Kheti farm journal of PAU, said that the first newspaper 'Ghadar' was published in 1913 in San Francisco, USA that carried the slogans of right to speak and propagated the nationalistic freedom moment of India. He said that it was a co-incidence that, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, a Ludhianvi by birth and a student of Arya High School and Malwa Khalsa School of Ludhiana became the first Editor of this newspaper. His martyrdom Day falls on November 16 which ought to be observed as a National Press Day, said Mr. Gill. He observed that the hard earned freedom can be converted into real independence if concerted efforts are continued to uplift the rural masses. On this occasion, eminent Punjabi Poet, Mr. Trilochan Lochi recited his recent composition about freedom of expression and the glory of the mother tongue.