A group of young people go through a daily newspaper in Nagaland. Ahead of National Press Day, The Morung Express sought opinions from several people on the way forward for the print media in the State. (Morung Photo)
K Filip Sumi
Dimapur | November 15
As the media fraternity observes the National Press Day on November 16, The Morung Express spoke to several people from various walks of life to gather their opinions on the state of the print media here and how it can move forward.
Atu Zumvu, a police officer posted in Dimapur, recognized the manifold increase of media’s role and said the media in Nagaland plays a responsible role catering to ensure public accountability and raising societal issues. He appealed the press fraternity to continue with their constructive and investigative journalism.
The press should give equal focus to report on goods as well as bad news, opined Zaben, a government teacher in Wokha district. “I believe, the more good news is shared and reported, the more positive changes can be expected from our society,” he added.
Pivotal, constructive role
Stating that the press fraternity in Nagaland had taken a huge leap, Vihuto Asumi, former Secretary of Sumi Hoho noted that the press is playing a pivotal and constructive role in strengthening emotional connectivity of the Nagas. Currently stationed in Zunheboto, Vihuto urged upon the press to focus more on promoting local artistes and entrepreneurs and expand reportage on local news from every corner of the state.
Azeu Namcyn Hau, personal secretary to the Leader of Opposition, said that the media fraternity in Nagaland is at a nascent stage and yet to come at par with the rest of the NE region. He however commended the overall news content of local dailies in the state.
Advisory Panel Member Censor Board Mumbai, Rebecca Changkija Sema lauded the role played by print media in the state describing it as “not all heroes wear caps.” She said the press fraternity in Nagaland equipped with lot of knowledge are part of the brightest minds.
Too many advertisements?
Meanwhile, advertisements, the primary revenue generator for most media houses and its placement, were a cause of concern for some.
Noleto Visa, a government officer opined that adding extra pages particularly for advertisements would do justice to various news sections having specific pages. “Adjusting advertisements in news pages results in the real news with less detail,” he noted. Visa, however, noted that despite the lack of electronic media, the print media is doing the best job by updating the news of the state.
Amento V Chophi, a resident of Mishikito village, Dimapur, while acknowledging advertisement columns as an important part of any newspaper, however also expressed disappointment that a good number of spaces and pages are occupied by felicitations, obituaries, acknowledgements, anniversaries etc. “Since the newspapers cannot deny paid spaces to the public, it will be good if additional pages are provided for such purposes,” he said.
Critical but needs more courage
Loli Athisü who teaches at Immanuel College, Dimapur commended the coverage and contents of newspapers in the state. “Apart from providing daily news, the critical and balance analysis of the editorials helps the readers to be more rational,” he added.
Athisü also said that the articles penned by local, national and foreign academicians are helpful for many sections of the readers.
The press needed to be more vocal, courageous and frank, both individually and collectively, averred Rev Luoliehu Yimsung, a motivational speaker based in Sydney, Australia. He said that the press also needed to be more balanced in their time and involvement with the government and public.
Capt. GK Zhimomi, a political party functionary also commended the print media for functioning under the looming shadow of unrest that has plagued the state for long. He viewed that the press while attempting to maintain balancing act, investigative reporting and exposes have been cold shouldered. He also maintained that the editorial columns were more like a moderator column and lacks power punches. Zhimomi was also of the opinion that originality must prevail over uniformity of news contents.
Nagaland Governor, CM greet media fraternity
DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 15 (MExN): Nagaland Governor, RN Ravi and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio have greeted the media fraternity on the occasion of National Press Day on November 16.
In his message, the Governor said that the free press is “one of the foundation stones of democracy and plays a pivotal role in connecting the Government and the citizens.”
He also expressed pleasure to learn that the Press Council of India is observing the day symbolising press freedom and ethics of journalism.
“On this occasion, I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to all members of the media fraternity of the Country especially Nagaland. I extend my best wishes for the successful celebration of the day and hope the media continue to present a responsible and free press in the Country,” he added.
The PCI has proposed to discuss and deliberate on the topic “Reporting – Interpretation: A Journey” on the National Press Day. The Governor hoped that this would contribute towards further strengthening the quality of reporting in the news organisations and urged the media fraternity to be more responsive, responsible and proactive in their responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that a free press is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy and the government is committed to “upholding freedom of press.’
“May the media space be used, more and more, to bring about progressive social change,” he said on a Twitter update.