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Nagaland Media to boycott PM Narendra Modi's visit
Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN

Dimapur, November 28 2014 : Media houses in Nagaland have taken a decision to boycott the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dimapur and Kohima in the event of the state government's failure to materialize their demand by November 30 .

They also took a firm decision to boycott the 'Hornbill Festival' from December 1 .

The editors of newspapers in Nagaland have been pressing the state government to clear all the pending advertisement bills by November 30.These editors had submitted a memorandum to the chief minister on October 30 giving the state government a month's time to clear all the pending advertisement bills.

The editors also took a decision to boycott all government related news from December 1 .

Just two days away to lapse the deadline set by the media houses, there is no sign that the state government can fulfill the demand.

Meanwhile, the Nagaland Press Association (NPA) said it is dismayed by the indifferent and lukewarm response of the various government departments which have yet to act on the directives issued to them for clearing all pending payments for advertisements that have been duly acknowledged and published by the media houses in good faith.

"Despite many difficulties faced, the newspapers in Nagaland have never shied away from fulfilling its duty i.e.serving public interest and giving support to the government machinery in its endeavour to fulfill its own responsibilities," the NPA said in a press statement jointly issued by its vice president H Chisi and general secretary Along Longkumer.

The statement also said non-payment of bills for services rendered by the newspapers in particular and the failure to acknowledge its needs in general goes to show the utter disrespect that our government has towards the media in Nagaland.

The NPA then expresses its solidarity with the stand taken by the editors of newspapers who have had to resort to issuing memorandums and public reminders to the government on non-fulfillment of its demands.

"The State government should look into the seriousness of the issue raised by the editors of newspapers in Nagaland and avoid the embarrassment of a media blackout of the Prime MinisterÔs upcoming visit and the Hornbill Festival from December 1-10," it added.

The NPA then urged that the government departments which have yet to clear their dues should be directed by both the head of the government, the Chief Minister and the head of the bureaucracy, the Chief Secretary, to find ways and means to meet the deadline issued by the media houses i.e.November 30.The NPA condemns all forms of red tape and dereliction of duty within the government departments.

The apex media body then said the grievances of the newspapers in Nagaland are not a new phenomenon but have been dragging on for many years now.

"Here, the general public should be made aware that newspapers are not demanding anything that does not belong to them but only want what is due to them for services rendered by it," it stated, adding, "As such, the government should take note that the defaulting departments will be held solely responsible.

Earlier, the newspaper editors Nagaland had reiterated their appeal to the Chief Minister to release all pending payments for advertisements published up to September 30, by November 30 .

They had also urged the State government to implement in letter and in spirit its own policy that includes release of all future advertisements and payments through the Directorate of Information and Publicity Relations (DIPR) and payment of all published advertisements within 45 days from the date of publication.

In a reminder to the Chief Minister, the editors and newspapers warned that in the event of the State government's failure to implement the above mentioned points by November 30, 2014, all news items related to government events, including the Prime Minister's upcoming visit and the Hornbill Festival, government statements and advertisements will be withheld with effect from December 1, 2014 .

The reminder was signed by editors Geoffery Yaden (Nagaland Post), Monalisa Changkija (Nagaland Page), AkŘm Longchari (Morung Express), Witoubou Newmai (Eastern Mirror), K.Temjen Jamir (Tir Yimyim) and M.Kire (Capi) .

The reminder was issued after evaluating the steps taken by the government of Nagaland in response to their memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister on October 30 .

While appreciating the promptness with which the Nagaland State government responded to the memorandum, the newspapers, however, said they are deeply unsatisfied with the indifferent and unprofessional response of the various departments.


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