Badal bats for healthy and pro-people journalism

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Chandigarh, May 15, 2014: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the media to give fairly good coverage to the agriculture and agro industry, which had been overlooked during the past due to excessive coverage to the political scenario in the states as well as country, to check the trend of constant decline in agriculture growth.
Addressing a gathering on the function especially organized to commemorate 15th anniversary of the Chandigarh Edition of the Hindustan Times here today, the Chief Minister lauded this prestigious newspaper, which has its roots in the legacy of Shiromani Akali Dal as it was founded by the legendary freedom fighter and founding father of Akali movement and Shiromani Akali Dal Sardar Sunder Singh Lyallpuri besides this newspaper also played a stellar role in the national freedom struggle.
Highlighting the importance of media in the current scenario, the Chief Minister said that it could play a vanguard role in putting the staggering agrarian economy on a strong pedestal by publishing success stories of progressive farmers to enthuse the fellow farmers especially the small and marginal ones to follow their suit. He said that it was ironical that the country's peasantry especially the Punjabi farmers had made our nation self reliant in food production but today they were passing through a very difficult phase. Mr. Badal said that nearly one lakh farmers have abandoned farming due to negligible returns on it or squeezed margins of profit.  Henceforth he said that it was a high time for the media both electronic and print to come forward in bailing out the distressed peasantry by highlighting their hardships and grievances on one hand besides publishing agriculture development oriented stories on the other to boost their morale, which he termed would prove to be a laudatory step to transform their destiny, with humble cooperation of the newspapers.
Likewise, the Chief Minister also urged upon the media to give considerable coverage to the economic and industrial development to boost the sentiment of youth, who were quite depressed for being grappled with the unprecedented unemployment across the country. He said that the media could also make enormous contribution towards popularizing the concept of skill development at the grass root level to encourage the youth especially with rural background for roping them in various skill development schemes so that they could either be gainfully employed or initiate self employed ventures.
Commending the Hindustan Times for pursuing healthy practices in journalism, the Chief Minister said that he was indebted to the media for realizing us our follies and mistakes and also acting as an eye-opener for the government to take corrective measures to serve the state and its people in the right earnest. At the same time, Mr. Badal asked the media not to indulge in unhealthy criticism because healthy criticism was always welcome but on the contrary criticism just for the sake of criticism was not only undesirable but also highly deplorable and against the ethics of journalism.   
While appreciating the editorial skills of the Senior Resident Editor of Hindustan Times Ramesh Vinayak, the Chief Minister said that he was a seasoned journalist with deep understanding of the socio-economic and political aspects of the country in general and of the region in particular. He said that the team of Hindustan Times led by Vinayak has been instrumental in rendering valuable services to the states and its residents in the region by highlighting their genuine problems and local issues to their satisfaction.
Earlier the Chief Minister accompanied by Ramesh Vinayak also released "The Faces of Success"- a compendium on the success stories of the eminent personalities in different walks of life from the region.  
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Advisor on National Affairs and Media Harcharan Bains, MLA Manoranjan Kalia, his Principal Secretary SK Sandhu, Special Principal Secretary Gaggandip Singh Brar and Director General of Police Suresh Arora.  

Date: 
Thursday, May 15, 2014