“Come peddle with us, you are the pilot of your own ship,” JAKJA to Journalists

Srinagar: At a time when journalist fraternity has been facing threats, tremendous pressure and their rights are being curbed, a new journalist organization has come into existence that has vowed to secure the interests of Journalist Community.

Jammu and Kashmir Journalist Association is not restricted to Kashmir, but it is open for all including Jammu, Ladakh and Chenab Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir Journalist Association or in other words JAKJA held its first ever General Council Meeting in Kashmir capital Srinagar in which almost all members of the Association were present. Some members who were not present in Valley tried to put forth their ideas and opinions through virtual mode but couldn’t, courtesy: internet speed.

Members mostly young Journalists put forth their ideas, opinions which were welcomed by the interim body of JAKJA.

President JAKJA, Riyaz Masroor who is associated with BBC told members that they can be the pilots and captains of the ship and it is they who have to steer the ship in the right direction so that more and more things can be explored.

The Desk In-charge Jaleel Rathore assured members of the Association that their interests will be taken care off and they have landed on the right spot.

Riyaz Masoor enthralled the audience rather members by his captivating and intoxicating speech. “If you think this is the right organization that can represent you and secure your interests, you are then most welcome. There is no politics involved. Of course, I am the interim president but never have yearned for any post. I will be glad to serve the organization as a spot boy till it is in pursuit of the vision,” he said.

Interim General Secretary Fahad Shah who is Editor-in-Chief of Kashmir Wallh said that journalists are facing tremendous pressure and journalism has been depreciated to a great extent and to restore its pristine glory it is important to come under one flag and fight for the rights of the journalists. He said that JAKJA will always be there for journalists, come what may.

Almost every member of the organization was extempore and expressed his or her ideas freely. Some of the members expressed their reservations over certain things to which President of the organization Riyaz Masoor cleared the air and doubts.

Senior Journalist Mehmood-ul-Rashid appealed to Organization to take senior journalists on board and persuade them to come under one platform.

Neyaz Elahi from News Agency Kashmir News Trust laid emphasis that JAKAJ should stand for the journalists who are often in trouble.

Various senior Journalists including Naseer Ganaie, Haroon Reshi, Aamir Pirzada and others put forth their views in the interest of the journalists.

Shefali Rafiq and Marila Latif also expressed their views. Marila Latif said that she was always keen in Kashmir subject despite being starting her career from outside Jammu and Kashmir.

Majority of the members decided to let the interim body function till elections are held at appropriate time.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Journalists Association (JAKJA) in a statement said that it held its first General Council meeting at the Kashmir Press Club in Srinagar.

The Association launched its official website – www.jakja.org and unveiled the charter during the meeting, which was attended by over its 60 members.

The house ratified the already established interim body till next elections of the association are held. The executive body includes BBC journalist Riyaz Masroor as President, Kashmir News Bureau Editor Malik Sajid as Vice-President, The Kashmir Walla Editor Fahad Shah as General Secretary and independent journalist Rayan Naqash as Treasurer.

While speaking on the occasion, the President of the JAKJA Riyaz Masroor called the association a ship and said every journalist could board it. “We want to take everyone on board from the entire Jammu and Kashmir. In Kashmir, the journalists have been suffering due to various issues and we want to work for their welfare and facilitate them at every moment,” he said.

“We have to work to strengthen the journalism in the valley and we all need to involve ourselves in this,” he said adding, “the name of JAKJA is not sacrosanct but our ideas, vision and aims are.”

Speaking during the meeting, the JAKJA General Secretary Fahad Shah said that the body will work for the welfare of all the journalists. “There are many opportunities that we hardly know about. We can guide and inform other fellows too who can get some benefit out of it. We want everyone to come and join us so that we can do something bigger for our fraternity,” he said.

Senior journalist Jalil Rathor, who was presiding over the proceedings of the meeting, expressed his gratitude that all the journalists have come together under one umbrella. “The community has also been overlooked but now I hope things will change as professionals have joined hands and will fight on every cause together,” he said.

Opinion Editor of Greater Kashmir, Mehmood Ur Rashid, focused on getting every journalist on board. “I think the body needs to focus on bringing everyone on board and walk together for the welfare of the journalists,” he said.

During the meeting senior journalists Naseer Ganai and Haroon Reshi also stressed the need for a joint effort to preserve and strengthen the institution of journalism. Several young journalists also shared their views and comments, especially the issues they face in the profession.

The body will take the journalists from Jammu region on board as well and have reserved a seat for the region in the seven-member executive council. The Association has also formed several committees to work on various issues of the fraternity – which will be shaped and begin working in coming days. (KNT)

Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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