Travancore Press Association

  • Published on September 19, 1910
  • Svadesabhimani
  • By Staff Reporter
  • 25 Views

Our Calicut contemporary of the Malabar Daily News in its issue of the 13th instant says that the editors of newspaper in Travancore were invited " to join in a conference for discussing ways and means for maintaining and safeguarding the liberty of the local press." This is indeed news to us. In the invitation we received we were told that "it is proposed to hold a conference of the editors of all newspapers and periodicals in Travancore to consider the present condition and the outlook of journalism in the State." (The italics are ours) We trust that much effort is not necessary for our Calicut contemporary to understand that the object set out by the editor and proprietor of the Western Star who issued the invitation, is not the one which has been explained by the Malabar Daily News.  We have no doubt that the idea of a Press Association for Travancore is an excellent one of it can materialise into action. We have ourselves advocated strenuously the formulation of such an association on broad legitimate and reasonable lines, with the sole and only object of securing the whole-hearted co-operation of our brothers working in the same field. We dare say that all newspapers working for public good would agree in this view. But we had our own doubts - and we expressed them in unambiguous words - about the secret springs of an action underneath the invitation issued. We regret that the Malabar Daily News has misunderstood and misgauged the condition of journals in Travancore.  We are free to admit that there are vernacular journals of an undesirable type passing for public organs and adopting methods which a liberty -loving and honest newspaper would detest to adopt. But even those journals of this type require milder treatment and will probably improve from better counsel. It is a mistake to suppose that a  Press law is necessary for a few. Even in the whole of India, journalism is an infant stage; much more so in a State like Travancore which in spite of its high standard of literacy and culture has yet to see journalism as a profession. In these circumstances we would ask our Calicut contemporary to judge the vernacular journals of its own description with considerateness and in a genuine feeling of fraternity. It is a well-known fact that nowhere in India have newspapers been started in such great numbers as is the case in Travancore and it must be presumed that the object with which they are started is no to willfully and deliberately vilify authorities. The very medium of communication between the Government and the people viz. the Vernacular Language is the safest and the best agency for bringing the two into a closer touch. It is in view of these considerations that we too have been urging on our contemporaries in this State to have an association which could do a number of things to improve the journals in all ways. We hope that spirit of the Association will be clearly understood by our contemporaries and worked up to day by the conveners.

 

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