The annual convocation of the Statesman Print Journalism School (SPJS) was held on Thursday where the tenth batch received their post-graduation diploma certificates in print journalism.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mahfuz Anam, editor-in-chief of The Daily Star, Bangladesh, highlighted the importance of journalists in the society and how the role of print journalism has evolved with time.

Mr Anam said: “One needs to have certain ideals in them to opt for a career in journalism. A sense of empathy for people is vital for a journalist who needs to build a society of law where law serves justice and not the powerful. Constitutions of every democracy protect two pillars ~ the Judiciary and the Press. When these two institutions function at their best, a society functions at its best. There is no other profession which is directly protected by the Constitution and hence the budding journalists should feel special and encouraged to carry out their job.”

Talking on the present role of print media, Mr Anam said: “One must not think that the print media will soon be eradicated due to the surfacing of the new media in the present time. However, the print medium, in order to thrive, has to modify its role. In today’s age, one might not depend on a newspaper for news as one easily gets access to that through the electronic medium. But, the print will always be referred to for detailed analysis and views. In today’s age, print should be more of views than news.”

Mr Peter Rimmele, resident representative, KAS, New Delhi, who graced the occasion, congratulated the students on their achievement. Speaking on the dilemma of fake news, Mr Rimmele said: “Information is power and the informer should feel empowered.

“However, the informer should shoulder the responsibility of disseminating correct news and not a distorted version of it. A journalist should not be afraid of asking questions to the authority.”

Adding to this, Mr Rimmele reminded the students of a quote by renowned author PG Wodehouse, “every day you seem to know less and less about more and more”, while also stressing on the need to befriend all sorts of media and learning something from each other.

Meanwhile, Mr Ravindra Kumar, editor and managing director, The Statesman, said: “It has been a journey of some significance to see SPJS developing as it has today. Ten years ago when we indulged in this endeavour, we didn’t realise the impact it would make.

“The Statesman has always been a training ground which has witnessed eminent journalists shape their careers in this profession.” The director of SPJS, Mr Subrata Nag Choudhury, and Mr Pankaj Madan, head of programmes, KAS, New Delhi, were also present on the occasion.