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August 4 marked as Odia Journalism Day
The first Oriya newspaper 'Utkal Dipika,' was published on August 4, 1866. After 127 years, August 4 was celebrated as 'Odia Journalism Day' in an event organised by the alumni association of premier mass communication training institution Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), at Bakul Foundation, Bhubaneswar.

The event not only marked the beginning of Odiya Journalism but the guests present at the event also discussed about the future of the Oriya Journalism. Noted writer and former Editor Adhyapaka Biswaranjan, senior journalist Ramhari Mishra, and author-journalist Gourhari Das were the guests at the event, which was attended by 50 members of the IIMC association.

Dr. Mrinal Chatterjee, journalist, academician and Head of IIMC, launched his book 'History of Journalism in Odisha' at the event. Talking about the history and the growth, he said, “Odia journalism played an important role in pre-independence and post independence period. Though technological journalism in Odisha is at par with any other language journalism in India, there is a need for improvement in content.”

According to the 55th Annual report of the Registrar of Newspaper for India (RNI) there has been an overall 8.23 percent of growth in the print media in India. The factors like internet, social networking sites and blogs, which has affected print journalism a lot in the west, is yet to catch up with Indian newspaper.

Comparing Oriya journalism with national jornalism, Jyoti Prakash, General Secretary of the Association of IIMC said, “the growth rate in Orissa in journalism is high. When we compare the circulation numbers of two noted Oriya newspaper, 'Sambad and Samaj, we would see that the numbers has increased.”

“In 2005, circulation of Sambad was 17.70 lakh, which increased to 20.69 lakh in 2006. Samaj also saw a rise from 17.43 lakh to 18.97 lakh in 2005-2006. Apart from that, Oriya news channels, radio channels have also cropped up lately." says Prakash.

When asked, as to whether the youths are choosing Oriya journalism as a career path, Mr. Prakash said that journalism is a field that do not pay much and in India the situation is worse; Oriya being the most unfortunate. However he also said that things are improving and “in the 80's there was 1 journalism school but currently, this number has increased to 30, which shows that the youths are inclined towards this field.”

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