Journalists are unfortunate professionals: Ampareen

Shillong, June 9 (IANS) Meghalaya Labour Minister Mazel Amapreen Lyngdoh Sunday said that journalists were the most “unfortunate” professionals.

“Journalists are the most unfortunate professionals… they have no rights,” Ampareen said while inaugurating a two-day seminar-cum-workshop for journalists here.

The workshop is being organised by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network, a division of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in collaboration with the Indian Journalists Union and is being facilitated by the Shillong Press Club with support of the Meghalaya government.

The workshop will deliberate on several issues confronting journalists, including economic exploitation and the challenges of working in a conflict zone, besides media ethics and the importance of people’s right to information for strengthening democracy.

“It (journalism) is an attractive job, but the actual lifestyle is difficult. Security is another aspect as journalists face a lot of risk while performing their duties. At the same time, journalists need to introspect. There can always be some amount of conflict between journalists and the government on several issues, but if that conflict helps in bringing in good, so be it,” she said.

Urging journalists to develop themselves professionally so that they can be in a better bargaining position with the management, columnist Patricia Mary Mukhim, said: “We have to develop ourselves professionally and should strive to attain excellence in journalism. Our role also needs to be enlarged and become stakeholders in the development of the country.”

Stating that the working condition of journalists in India and the northeast was not good, Indian Journalists’ Union secretary Geetartha Pathak mooted the idea of forming a Northeast India Federation of Journalists to take up issues relating to their issues in the region.

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