Ram Patro Memorial Award conferred, deliberations address challenges posed to journalism

Gangtok, 17 May: Ajay Agarwal of Sikkim Chronicle was today conferred the ‘Ram Patro Memorial Award 2019 for Excellence in Journalism’. The award has been instituted by Sikkim Express in the memory of its founder, the Late Ram Patro, who also launched SE’s sister publication, Himali Bela. The award is presently annually. The award was present by MP and former Minister in the Government of Nepal, Ram Karki, and senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of East Mojo, Karma Paljor. In his address, Mr Karki shared anecdotes from his connection with Himali Bela during his stay in Sikkim in 1993. He also spoke about the various welfare initiatives undertaken for journalists in Nepal and stressed that journalism was social and political action, a responsibility which requires journalists to engage in active and responsible journalism. Mr Karki admitted that the present scenario of journalism in the world was a matter of concern and called on journalists to work towards regaining their fading professionalism. He further urged journalists to take their jobs very seriously to save journalism itself. Likewise, Mr Paljor expressed concern over the increasing challenges posed to journalism due to the proliferation of smart phones and social media platforms. He added that every person with a smart phone has now become a journalist and broadcaster. He mentioned that it was easy to become famous by claiming to be doing journalism and stressed that journalists could remain relevant and useful by delivering in-depth reportage which was the need of the hour. In this context, he underlined the need for in-depth data and research driven journalism. He also said that journalists should check against fake news to deliver sincere and responsible information to the society. Also today, the ‘Best working journalist in Sikkim Express and Himali Bela for 2018-19’ award was presented to Sikkim Express staff reporter, Isabella Gurung. On the occasion, a staff of Sikkim Express, Ram Shakal Sharma was felicitated with the ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ for his dedicated service. The function was also addressed by both awardees. Earlier, the function started with the welcome address by Editor, Sikkim Express, Amit Patro, and concluded with the presentation of vote of thanks by associate editor, Himali Bela, Rupesh Sharma.