Journalism and public support


In a recent public poll conducted by this newspaper on, ‘Are journalists in Nagaland upholding ethical standards of journalism?’ 14 percent of the respondents voted for ‘Yes’ while 55 percent voted ‘No’ and 31 had voted for ‘Others.’ Stating a key remark, one of the participant wrote that ‘journalism in Nagaland needs to improve and this will start when public also starts holding them responsible for upholding ethical standards of journalism. There must be a responsible body to see that journalists are being true to their ethics.’

Like any other public good, journalism plays a critical role in all the different quarters and it deserves public support to thrive. Often journalists are accused of being influenced by political alliances, corrupted by position and money power, and other factors. These accusations are generalised and therefore, the image painted shows journalists as unethical and not true to their profession. In this given scenario, a self-reflective understanding can be of some assistance to the journalist, however, a greater help would be in the form of public support. 

Talking for the newspapers in Nagaland, printed copy sales and advertising revenue continue to decline while the online space and digital content creators persist to keep increasing. UNSECO findings in the ‘world trends in freedom of expression and media development: 2021/2022 online report,’ it shows that social media users nearly doubled from 2.3 billion in 2016 to 4.2 billion in 2021. This has allowed for greater access to content and more voices—but not necessarily that with the distinctive value-add of journalistic content.

It is difficult to relate public support and the journalistic content in a limited space, yet it gives an opportunity to initiate a thought process for looking at journalism as a public good and finding ways to contribute towards its health, growth and movement. Within the journalist community, in the Nagaland context, the lack of an all-encompassing organisation or body is an ailment - a letdown in itself. As journalists and media houses keep on dealing with the concerns and try to find ways to sustain, there is also a greater need for the Governments, civil societies and the general public to take steps in order to strengthen journalism and also to ensure that journalism can continue to function in conditions that enable trustworthy news and analysis, and create accountability.

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