Window Seat: Press for Planet

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 05, 2024 IST

World Press Freedom Day

Mrinal Chatterjee

World Press Freedom Day is observed every year on May 3. It is often said that, a free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad. Freedom is a fundamental requirement for a socially committed press to function.

The World Press Freedom Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the 'Declaration of Windhoek' is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

Every year World Press Freedom Day has a theme to foreground an issue. The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2023, set by UNESCO, was ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver of all other human rights.’ This theme emphasized the crucial role of press freedom, independent and diverse media, and freedom of expression in upholding all human rights.. The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2022 was "Journalism under Digital Siege”, and the theme of 2021 was “Information as a Public Good''. The Theme of World Press Freedom Day 2024 is, ‘ A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis.’

Election Campaign in the times of Heat wave

Most parts of India are reeling under intense heat waves. Odisha and West Bengal are witnessing unprecedented heat waves in my living memory. The other day Baripada, a small wooded leafy town, where I spent five years in early 1990s and Balasore, a seaside town became the hottest place in India.  Bazars and public spaces across the country wear a deserted look for most part of the day. In this situation, the election campaign is missing its usual zest and razzmatazz. Election rallies look jaded, even if it has more colour and festoons. Door to door campaigns are fewer and shorter. Election campaign is gradually moving to digital platforms.

And that is a pity!  The dance of democracy is better enjoyed in its real flesh and blood avatar, not on the small screen.

Unsung heroes of the election campaign

Election campaigns have many players- from the star campaigners with their thundering, blundering, accusing, defending, comparing, cajoling speeches to the folk artists adding colour and chutzpah.    

But let's not forget the unsung heroes of the election campaign – the humble political pundits. They write in newspapers- put forth facts and arguments. But more interesting to watch are the pundits on visual media. Armed with an arsenal of statistics and a knack for dramatic flair, they grace our television screens, pontificating on the finer points of policy with the enthusiasm of cricket commentators during a nail-biting match. Political pundits are increasingly visible now on mobile screens from different social media platforms. It is good fun to watch some of them.

Passion

Passion is defined as ‘strong and barely controllable emotion’. Many of us have it for something- may it be a vocation, or feelings for a person or cause; but few of us continue with the same zest for a long stretch of time.

I see the intense passion the bikers have for their bikes over a long period. My son is one of that breed. Recently he remodeled his old motorcycle, a faithful beast of a machine, which had travelled over a hundred thousand kilometers across the country. He had named his bike Rangabati, after a famous folksong of Western Odisha.

Here is what he writes onvhis social media platform, as the old bike wears a new and designer look:

In the heart of every rider beats a deep connection with their bike, a bond that transcends mere transportation. For me, she is not just a machine; she is a canvas of memories, a muse on two wheels. When her odometer clocked 100,000 kilometers, I saw an opportunity to immortalize our journey in a work of art.

I decided to customize and modify her, not out of necessity, but out of sheer admiration and respect. Every scratch, every dent tells a story of our adventures together. I wanted to capture these moments and create something truly unique.

As I look at Rangabti now, gleaming with new life and character, I'm reminded of the countless memories we've shared and the many more adventures that await us.

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

 

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