The University of Science and Technology Meghalaya on Saturday honoured media personalities from the region recognizing their contribution in the field of News Media giving legitimacy to people’s voice and augmenting the role of media as the “Fourth Estate”.
The Media Awards were conferred on the occasion of USTM Media Conclave 2022 held at the Central Auditorium of USTM. A galaxy of media persons and dignitaries including Mr Kaushik Deka, Executive Editor, India Today as the Chief Guest, Mr Prasanta Rajguru, Editor-in-Chief, Prag News, Mr PJ Baruah, Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune, Ms Maini Mahanta, Editor, Nandini, apart from USTM Chancellor Shri Mahbubul Hoque, Vice Chancellor Prof GD Sharma and others graced the occasion.
This year’s USTM Media Excellence Award went to two media stalwarts of the region: Smt. Anuradha Sarma Puzari, renowned author and Editor, Sadin and Shri Pranay Bordoloi, Editor-in-Chief, Da News Plus.
The USTM Media Achiever Award-2022 went to Shri Manash Pratim Dutta, Staff Reporter, The Assam Tribune; Mr Bhabok M. Laloo, Assistant Editor, U Peitngor, Shillong; Shri Manash Pratim Deka, Assistant News Editor and Anchor at ND24; Ms Ribha Merry Suchiang, journalist at Batesi TV, Shillong; and Ms Tora Agarwala, Assistant Editor and NE Correspondent, Indian Express, Guwahati. The awards were handed over to the recipients by the eminent dignitaries.
Welcoming the gathering, Shri Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor, USTM stated that it has been a challenging journey for USTM which began with only six students in 2011 and now the University takes pride for being awarded A Grade by NAAC in 2021 and having more than 5,000 students. The University has adopted a holistic approach for social development, besides its consistent mission to become a world class university by 2030.
The theme of the USTM Media Conclave 2022 was “Is Media Still the Fourth Pillar of Democracy?” was introduced by Mr Prasanta Rajguru, Editor-in-Chief, Prag News. He said that the concept of Democracy is related to media, to get elected to the highest body of governance one need to mobilize public opinion. “Media had a glorious past, having a challenging present and has a very uncertain future”, he stated.
Delivering the Keynote address, Mr Kaushik Deka, Executive Editor, India Today said, “Journalism at the end of the day is a profession today. Media's role is to break authentic news in an unbiased and accurate manner.”
The day people start paying for consumption of news, will be the day when media can be said truly the fourth pillar of democracy, he added.
The panel discussion also took place on the theme of the Conclave which was participated by Mr Kaushik Deka, Mr Prasanta Rajguru, Mr PJ Baruah, Smt. Anuradha SarmaPuzari, Mr Pranay Bordoloi, Ms Maini Mahanta, and other delegates.
Delivering the vote of thanks, Prof. GD Sharma, Vice Chancellor, USTM said that the University has generously opened the door for the poor and underprivileged meritorious students of the society to continue higher studies with the provision of “Free Education” thus not letting poverty to be a hindrance in education for the deserving candidates. The provision is also applicable for the children of the media fraternity as they hardly receive such support.