Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Durga Puja: No newspaper in Kolkata

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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Press is said to be the third eye of the society and fourth pillar of democracy. However, during the four days of Durga Puja, in a very consorted manner, all the newspapers in Bengal suspended their publications.

Earlier, the publications were shut only on dashami (the last day of Durga Puja), but since 2011, newspaper houses have been suspending their publications for four days on the pretext of the lack of availability of distributors during this time.

However, distributors are working on a temporary basis, and are in a state of severe unemployment. If offered, many would happily do this job with the minimum wage.

Shib Mukherjee, editor of Natyomukhopatro said, “Distributor is not the problem. Today, the newspapers contain less news but more advertisement, and as from saptami to dashami all the markets and businesses are shut down in Kolkata, so they do not get any advertisement from the leading business houses. That makes newspapers to stop their publications during Puja”.

To read the mind of Kolkatans, NewsGram interacted with various people and they gave different views:

65 year old Hiralal Muherjee, a central government employee, said, “During our time, the people had huge respect for newspapers. They took a bold step during the time of independence and emergency. People still remember the role of Harish Mukherjee and Barun Sengupta for their dedication to the society. But today, newspapers act as a medium for the publicity of business houses. It is a warning sign for democracy”.

21 year old engineering student Arkoprava Ganguly had a different view as he said that in the age of apps, the relevance of these print papers was gone. He remarked, “Every newspaper has their app, and we are updated every second. People hardly care about newspaper as there is nothing new to read and see except the nude pictures and outsized advertisements”.

35 year old businessman Nitin Chomal said, “I hardly get time to read newspaper but I watch television news and also follow the online news portal to keep myself updated”.

Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, noted Bengali writer, spoke about the responsibility of media as he remarked, “The media giants should understand that their work is to inform people, so they cannot sleep in their home and enjoy the puja holidays.” 

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Permission to Cover N-Site Closure is Denied by South Korea

North Korean authorities on Tuesday morning denied permission to South Korean journalists to attend the dismantling of their nuclear base scheduled to take place between May 23-25.

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South Korean police on Friday sought an arrest warrant against the younger daughter of the president of Korean Air for allegedly assaulting an advertising agency executive in April.
Flag of South Korea, Pixabay

North Korean authorities on Tuesday morning denied permission to South Korean journalists to attend the dismantling of their nuclear base scheduled to take place between May 23-25.

Pyongyang had originally invited the South Korean media along with those from Russia, the US, the UK, and China, but the South Korean journalists’ list was rejected on Tuesday, Efe news reported quoting Seoul’s Ministry of Unification.

Members of a news agency and a South Korean television network had travelled to Beijing to fly to North Korea from there on Tuesday to attend the dismantling ceremony.

The Ministry in a statement said it regretted Pyongyang’s decision but despite the setback, it will continue working towards cooperating with Pyongyang and improving US-North Korea ties.

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representational image. Wikimedia

The announcement of the closure of the Punggye-ri base came during the inter-Korean summit, when Pyongyang pledged to work towards total denuclearisation, after claiming that it would stop its weapons tests.

Pyongyang, which announced that it wanted the closure to be made public with the presence of foreign journalists, has conducted six underground nuclear tests, including the last and most powerful in September 2017.

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The latest cancellation is a new setback after last week when Pyongyang abruptly suspended a high-level meeting with Seoul after accusing it of holding joint military exercises with the US.

Kim Jong-un’s regime also said that holding the summit with US President Donald Trump would be uncertain due to the pressure from the White House on the denuclearisation model that it wants to impose on North Korea. (IANS)

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