Editors of Orissa’s mainstream newspapers, portals and chief news executives of television channels joined hands with Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) on its initiative on February 12 and resolved to stand united to restore dignity of Press as and when the government cold-shoulders media persons tormented by intimidators in any form with the evil design to obstruct their free and fearless professional functioning.
MUFP presidium briefed the editors on how on many occasions the Chief Minister has, through its delegations and memorandums, been personally apprised of the atrocities perpetrated on media persons, not only by mafia, but also by the police. Sadly the CM has not kept his promise to take necessary action.
Individual editors have in the past attended MUFP protest demonstrations under the Freedom Tree; but this is the first time, as a class, they attended this special meeting.
While endorsing the MUFP stand that protection to media persons on duty is essential for free functioning of Press, the editors and news executives accepted the call to lend their collective wisdom to MUFP in drawing up its future course of action.
Accordingly an advisory committee was created comprising Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, (Editor of Sambad), Tathagat Satapathy (Editor of Dharitri), Prof. Biswa Ranjan (Editor of Khabara), Satakadi Hota (Editor of Samaya), Pramod Mohapatra (Executive Editor, Samaja), Samahit Bal (Executive Editor of Pragativadi), Batakrishna Tripathy (Editor of Dinalipi), Srimoy Kar (Resident Editor, The New Indian Express), Soumyajit Pattanayak (Chief Editor, OTv) and Asok Mohapatra (Chief Editor, MBC). On behalf of MUFP, Prasanta Patnaik would be its coordinator.
Participants in the convention were, besides the above, Sandeep Sahu (BBC), Dillip Satpathy (Business Standard), Sisir Bhattamishra (ETv), Sudhir Kumar Panda (Pratidin), Bipin Behari Mohanty (Amari Katha), Jatindra Das (IANS), Debi Prasanna Patnaik (UNI), Navin Das (Surya Prava), Siddhartha Kanungo (PTI), Chowdhury Amitav Das (Sambad), Subrat Das (Telegraph), Prasanna Mohanty (Naxatra News), Anil Das (Dharitri), Aparti Pradhan (Sambad), Manoranjan Mishra (Dharitri) and Ramesh Rath (OTv).
Members of MUFP Presidium: Sampad Mohapatra (NDTV), Sudhir Pattanayak (Independent Media), Prafulla Das (Hindu), Prasanta Patnaik (India Tv) and Subhas Chandra Pattanayak (orissamatters.com) contributed to deliberations.
The Advisory Committee shall have its first session on February 19.