Badal releases Rs 28 crore insurance cover for journalists

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Ludhiana, Aug 31 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon journalists to discharge their duties with a sense of utmost responsibility, professional commitment and sincerity to project correct news reports before the public.

Presiding over the 6th Annual Meet of Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) here at Punjab Agricultural University after releasing the insurance policy for its members amounting to Rs 28.10 crore, Mr Badal said it was the duty of the journalists to be balanced and fair in their reporting of incidents or events.

He however, cautioned the journalistic fraternity that unfair and biased reporting was not only detrimental to the society but also eroded the very confidence of the readers.

Reiterating his firm resolve to preserve the freedom of the media, Mr Badal said the SAD-BJP government sincerely respected the rights of the Fourth Estate. He also mentioned the role of Shiromani Akali Dal for the protection of people's rights and the freedom of press during the dark days of the Emergency.

He sought whole-hearted cooperation from the media to usher in an era of over all development and prosperity in the state.

Responding to the demands put forth by the CPUJ, Mr Badal assured the members of the Union of fulsome support and cooperation.

He asked the Information and Public Relations Minister to examine all the demands raised by the CPUJ with regard to allotment of land for Housing Societies, setting up of Institute of Mass Communication at Mohali, pension scheme and welfare fund for journalists besides enhancing the limit of free bus facility from existing Rs 1200 per annum to Rs 2500 per annum to cover all accredited/desk and veteran journalists.

He also announced a grant of Rs 11 lakh for CPUJ to undertake various welfare activities for the mediapersons. He also invited the executive members of CPUJ at Chandigarh to hold detailed discussions on the issues raised by them with the officers of the concerned departments.

Speaking on the occasion, Information and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia asked the media to abide by the code of ethics to ensure the spirit of professionalism.

On the occasion, Mr Majithia released a souvenir of CPUJ and presented mementos to the members of the Union. Earlier, the Chief Minister also lighted a lamp to mark the inaugural of the function.

In his keynote address President of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), Suresh Akhori briefly highlighted the activities of IJU that was associated with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

In his welcome address, President of CPUJ, Mr Vinod Kohli said that the CPUJ had emerged as the biggest representative body of newspersons in the region. With its presence even in smaller towns of Punjab, the Union takes care of the interest of journalists of both print and electronic media.

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