Kohima, November 7: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today urged the media fraternity to join hands with the state government in educating the people to become better citizens for an enlightened society.
Inaugurating the new building of the state Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) here, Mr Rio said the press must have a positive approach and be capable of analysing the long term impacts of their work on the society.
''Publication of news alone is not the mandate of a free press but it has a moral duty to mould a better society,'' the Chief Minister said.
He stated that the new DIPR building did not belong exclusively to the state government but also required the dedicated service of the media fraternity.
He lauded the mediapersons, saying, ''In building a vigilant and a conscious Naga society, your service and sacrifices are memorable.'' He also said Nagaland was one of the few states where freedom of the press was ensured and the members of the media fraternity deserved the credit since they kept constant vigil to protect and exercise the rights of the Nagas.
He also announced that the state government was taking up sincere steps to strengthen the media community.
Mr Rio informed that the state government had recently decided to accord accreditation to 24 new mediapersons, thus adding to the strength of the media.
The Accreditation Committee also recommended financial assistance for a large number of journalists as professional/operational subsidy and recommended housing colonies for journalists in Dimapur and Kohima as well as setting up a Journalist Welfare Fund.
Besides, the old Directorate building was being considered to house both the DPRO, Kohima and the Nagaland Press Club, he said.
The state government was also considering providing journalists with necessary software.
Stating that information and communication between the state government and the people were the key features for evolving a well-informed and intelligent society, Mr Rio said ever since its creation, the IPR department had been doing a commendable job in providing basic and necessary information about the government's functioning to the people.
''The IPR is the only department which coordinates closely with almost all the other departments of the state government to collect and give information, both to the other departments and the public,'' he said.
State IPR and Forest Minister Kheto, speaking as the guest of honour on the occasion, said with the inauguration of the new IPR building, the policy of providing sufficient information to the public about the state government would get a new thrust.