By OUR STAFF REPORTER

Marking a decade long journey of India Tomorrow, the news portal organised a seminar on the “Role of Alternative Media in Shaping Tomorrow’s India,” at Constitution Club in the national capital on December 18.

Eminent scholars, journalists and well-wishers attended the programme, which was launched with the slogan of, “Journalism of Vision and Optimism,” with the sole aim of highlighting stories of hope and development against visionless and negative journalism. During the event, India Tomorrow, in order to encourage young journalists, honoured them with memento for doing responsible journalism and raising issues of people through their news portals and YouTube channels with very limited resources.

On this occasion, India Tomorrow’s Chief Editor, Syed Khalique Ahmed said, “The debut of IndiaTomorrow.net took place on December 10, 2012, which is recognised as Human Rights Day throughout the world. IndiaTomorrow.net, will always try to give the voiceless and the oppressed a platform and present encouraging stories and provide helpful criticism within the confines of civil discourse. It will always highlight issues pertaining to development, human rights, women’s rights, minorities, socio-economically disadvantaged groups, the economy, education and Indian society. The portal will continue to work for shaping tomorrow’s India.”

Umakant Lakhera, president of Press Club of India, speaking as Chief Guest, declared that the alternative media is trying to preserve the sanctity of the fourth pillar of democracy. “Even in this challenging situation, we must uphold media ethics.” According to him, alternative media has been sharing the misery of the disadvantaged while the mainstream media is stifling the news. Pradeep Mathur, a senior journalist and academic, said aspirants to the profession must be honest in their work. He claimed that journalism carries a lot of responsibility. He said, “One has to concentrate on its sincerity and it is the content that matters.”

According to Professor Mohammed Salim Engineer of MNIT Jaipur, the country’s alternative media has supplanted traditional media. “The courageous reporters are covering the news on the ground. They actually form the fourth pillar of democracy,” he claimed. The moment has arrived, according to Professor Salim, to defend the truth and democratic principles.

Masihuzzama Ansari, Editor of India Tomorrow Hindi, while sharing his personal experience said it has become very difficult to report from the ground in the prevailing hostile atmosphere and to raise issues of the underprivileged and marginalised people. According to him, when almost all mainstream media has fallen in line, it is only alternative media that is working to bring the issues of Muslims, Dalits and Tribals and doing objective journalism.

During the programme young journalists of news portals like Meena Kotwal of The Mooknayak, Wasim Akram Tyagi, Shams Tabrez Qasmi of Millat Times, Ashraf Bastvi of Asia Times, freelance journalist Abhay Kumar, Maktoob Media, Pooja Pandey of The Janta Live, student and campus magazine The Companion, The Hindustan Gazette, Khushbu Akhtar and Nadeem Akhtar of Pal Pal News, and Rahim Khan of Janmanas Rajasthan were felicitated for doing objective and responsible journalism.

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